There are exactly two weeks until the grand final of Eurovision 2017 and Italian broadcaster RAI is pulling out all the stops. They’ve employed their charismatic entrant — and recent Wiwi Jury winner — Francesco Gabbani and his beloved gorilla to entice Italy’s Eurovision viewers to the telly with a smart and amusing new commercial.

The TV advert shows Gabbani – the odds-on favourite to win Eurovision 2017 and winner of the OGAE fan-club poll – and his trusty primate pal hilariously “getting ready” and pumped up for their big moment on the Eurovision stage in Kyiv.

Francesco Gabbani TV ad RAI Eurovision 2017

Inspired by the famous Rocky scene — where Sylvester Stalone’s Rocky Balboa gets ready for his big fight by running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art — Gabbani and his simian sidekick are seen breaking a sweat in various Roman locations.

The short TV spot culminates in the two buddies scaling a mountain of steps in the nearby city of beautiful Ostia.

All the while, this year’s Italian commentators — Flavio Insinna and Federico Russo — keep an ever-watchful eye on the hot contender. They animatedly put the “Occidentali’s Karma” crooner through his paces, spurred on by the prospect of snagging Italy’s first Eurovision win for 27 years.

Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest

“Occidentalli’s Karma” has been a hot favourite with both fans and oddsmakers ever since it won the esteemed Sanremo Song Festival — Italy’s national selection method and the original inspiration for Eurovision.

To date Francesco’s song has accrued more than 103 million views on YouTube, making it the most viewed Eurovision music video ever!

Italy last won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1990 with Toto Cutugno’s song “Insieme: 1992” — a song revelling in the promise of a united Europe following the fall of the Berlin Wall the year prior.

Italy withdrew after the 1997 contest and remained absent for twelve years. But in 2011 they made a triumphant return to the stage in Düsseldorf, placing second with Raphael Gualazzi’s “Madness of Love”.  Since then, Italy’s entries have place in the top ten in four out of six contests — making them one of the most successful countries of the last decade.

In Italy this year’s Eurovision Grand Final will air live on RAI1 – which has been the case since 2016 following Il Volo’s third place finish in Vienna.

What do you think of RAI’s new advert?  Does it stoke your fire for the Italian entry?  Let us know in the comments below.

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Italy at Eurovision 2017

In “Occidentali’s Karma”, Italy’s song contest star Francesco Gabbani sings “la scimmia nuda balla” — the naked ape is dancing.

Celebrate the gorilla with this cute design, which will bring a smile to people’s face at the club and on the street.

*Buy the naked ape shirt in a variety of colours

*Buy the naked ape shirt in white

Francesco is leading us to enlightenment with his Eurovision 2017 song “Occidentali’s Karma”. And as we approach nirvana with him we can’t help but whisper namaste. This adorable design celebrates inner peace with an adorable gorilla in meditation. Whether you’re in yoga class or at a party, it will help you find your centre. Now close your eyes and say “om”!

*Buy the Namaste Gorilla Shirt

*Buy the TWO GORILLAS shirt in a range of colours

*Buy the TWO GORILLAS shirt in white

Italy’s Francesco Gabbani will be joined on stage by a naked gorilla. But the ape knows that sometimes you have to cover up for your Eurovision selfie. This funky, psychedelic design captures him doing just that.

*Buy the Occidentali’s Karma t-shirt

*Buy the Occidentali’s Karma phone case

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Astoria
Guest
Astoria

Great to see that Even Italian Television RAI has boarded the train to ESC now! Did anyone realize that Francesco is dressed in the same colors when he he was onstage at Sanremo? Never change a winning dress 😉 This wonderful awareness for the details makes his appearance classy and beautiful. In case he shouldn’t win, I guess it’s because of the Jury voting.

Mark
Guest
Mark

It was both jury and televote…

fikri
Guest
fikri

the beads graphics look amazing on the promo

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

I loved the promo! They’re getting ready to slay y’all!!!
Let’s go to Italy!
Rome 2018! (or whatever, I don’t mind the city)

buskyta
Guest
buskyta

This entry is the most original, most fresh and innovative in ESC history. And it´s a pleasure to see Francesco taking his favouritism so lightly and humbly!! This is precious, in a world where everyone, including ESC fans take themselves so seriously, spreading hate comments, criticizing just because he is the favourite and brings a clever and funny thought – provoking encenation to the stage!!! Well deserved winner!! Thank you Francesco the world needs more authentic and talented guys like you!! Has in his conceptual album just released “Magellano”, you are inviting us to take the most courageous journey, within… Read more »

Avstriya
Guest
Avstriya

RAI is boarding the hype train. Reminds me of ORF in 2014. Everyone could feel it in the air that victory was ready to be taken.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Can we be told the name of the Gorilla?

Mutatatempora
Guest
Mutatatempora

His name is Filippo Ranaldi. 🙂

Maniac
Guest
Maniac

WINNER !!! TORINO 2018 !

Joe
Guest
Joe

In case of victory, except for the English, Francesco would be an awesome host.
I’m happy his album is doing so well.

Rock Me
Guest
Rock Me

This is fantastic!!! We have a winner.

azaad
Guest
azaad

Glad to see networks putting such an effort into promoting the contest!

Iberian
Guest
Iberian

I loooove Gippa’s comment: “Waiting for the hate/overrated wave”. So true! Gotta love Francesco and his song. Go, Italy. And yes, it’s a fantastic ad. Francesco is Rocky!

DiabloRoma
Guest
DiabloRoma

The Rocky quote has something crazy – but in the good meaning of it!

Limoncello
Guest
Limoncello

This is a proof that RAI really wants to host next year in case of victory.

YoungsterJoey
Guest
YoungsterJoey

Agreed! They didn’t do any advert like this for any previous entrant since coming back to the contest. Unless I’m wrong, it’s usually been ads with clips of the previous contest(s) and simply saying the name of the upcoming Italian entrant.

Joe
Guest
Joe

They can’t stop the train hahaha.

Grace
Guest
Grace

I’m loving this advert xD so awesome! Italy 2018!

Gippa
Guest
Gippa

*Wating patiently for the hate/overrated/always-Italy wave. Haha*

I really like the promo, it’s hilarious.
I’m glad that this year RAI is really promoting Esc. 🙂