Vespa is the bee’s knees

Why will street teams disguised as bees, and riding yellow Vespas wrapped to look like bee abdomens, be swarming Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary this summer?

Green like grass, blue like the sky and yellow like the sun: as Vespa Canada and Dentsu Canada see it, the new colours of the VespaLX model scooter represent the hues of the environment. So naturally the Toronto-based scooter company is teaming up with its AOR to position the new LXs as ‘EnviroVespas’ – Canada’s first green-driving scooters, and a concept that’s exclusively Canadian.

‘While Vespas are kinder to the environment than most modes of transportation, we wanted to up our commitment level,’ explains Sue Kuruvilla, director, public relations at Vespa Canada.

To that end, Dentsu is executing a two-part eco-friendly campaign on the brand’s behalf. In collaboration with the Carbon Reduction Fund, Vespa will reward consumers for being socially conscious by purchasing the carbon offsets over a two-year period on behalf of anyone who buys an EnviroVespa. But that’s just stage one.

‘We wanted to go further,’ explains Glen Hunt, creative catalyst at Toronto-based Dentsu Canada. ‘We looked at what’s happening in the environment and wanted to choose a cause we thought was very important.’ So Dentsu brought in Environmental Defense Canada, which informed them about an impending beehive collapse and loss of bee pollinator habitats.

Throughout the summer, street teams disguised as bees and riding yellow Vespas wrapped to look like bee abdomens will swarm Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary, conducting ‘guerrilla plantings’ to help create pollinator habitats.

‘Vespa is Italian for wasp, so the wasp is going to help save the bee. We think it’s appropriate,’ says Hunt. The street teams will buzz around each city, passing out pollinator habitat seeds and tell people to ‘spread their love,’ the catch phrase for the EnviroVespa.

Canadians can also spread their love on the Internet, as the campaign includes a major interactive component encouraging user-generated content. Bee lovers will be able to submit their own creative work based on the EnviroVespa concept at, and the best will win an EnviroVespa. Traditional print ads, run nationally, will also sustain the campaign throughout the summer.