Lapo Elkann’s Formula to Fight Coronavirus – WWD

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Lapo Elkann in the "Never Give Up" charity campaign

LAPO VS COVID-19: During his quarantine in Lisbon, Lapo Elkann is keeping himself very busy.

The creative entrepreneur is working hard to support the fight against the coronavirus through a series of initiatives.

Along with donating hundreds of face masks across Italy and developing with his Italia Independent eyewear label a schedule of Instagram live videos where popular DJ and music producer Stefano Fontana will lead the audience through the history of Italian music, Elkann is launching a new charity campaign through his Laps Foundation.

Developed by the entrepreneur’s Independent Ideas creative agency, the “Never Give Up” campaign aims to raise funds, in collaboration with the Italian Red Cross, to donate meal vouchers to Italian families in need.

Launched in leading Italian newspapers, the ad campaign portrays Elkann and a range of personalities from different fields, including soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, Olympic swimmer Federica Pellegrini, car racer and para cyclist Alex Zanardi among others, all wearing a face mask showing the Italian flag.

“Italy is my biggest love, I have a tattoo dedicated to it on my skin and if I ever had a daughter, I would name her Italia,” said Elkann, whose companies, with the exception of Independent Ideas, all feature the word Italia in their names. “I really feel the urgency to support my country in such a difficult moment and I’m happy to do this in collaboration with such an important institution like the Red Cross.”

Starting from Thursday, in order to “democratize the campaign,” as Elkann explained, a special filter was available on Instagram enabling people to post a picture of themselves wearing the customized face mask with the flags of their own country.

“I’m very proud and happy to also announce that a huge champion, a great friend and a wonderful man, Paulo Dybala [popular Argentinian soccer player], who, along with his girlfriend, was affected by the COVID-19, teamed up with us and will actively support the campaign posting his portrait wearing a mask with the flags of different countries, as a message of unity and fraternity,” Elkann said.

The entrepreneur also highlighted that the campaign conceived by Independent Ideas has already been picked up by Portugal to promote fund-raising in collaboration with Banco Santander.

“There are other countries which are interested,” Elkann said. “My desire is to make this project even more international to really develop and communicate a global message to fight all together against this terrible virus.”

The entrepreneur, who has recently fully recovered from a dramatic car accident he had in Tel Aviv, Israel, in December, is also in the process of writing a book for children.

“After what happened in Israel, as an individual, I just want to roll up my sleeves to help people in need, to donate and give my contribution using my expertises,” said Elkann, who also highlighted the importance for the relaunch of Italy after the coronavirus crisis to focus on creativity, marketing and communication.

“Many roundtables and task forces have been set up to face different problems in different fields, from economy to health care, but I also think it would be crucial to create a team dedicated to promote the image, beauty and excellence of our country through creativity, marketing and communication activities,” Elkann said. “I’m not a politician, I’m not an economist, I’m a creative man, not an all-round-expert and I don’t want to be here, there and everywhere. I know how to deal with creativity to communicate and my team and I are ready to donate our time, creativity, love, passion and determination to support our beloved country.”

Elkann put the focus on the importance of creating a national roundtable to coordinate all the different philanthropic initiatives.

“With the Laps Foundation, we traditionally mainly focus on the support of children, but as we are demonstrating in this occasion, we are more than open to expand our activities to different segments,” the entrepreneur said. “I honestly can’t wait to play my part and give my support.”

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