Each region of Italy has its own distinctive way of speaking, and Nutella has recently introduced an ad campaign to celebrate these regional differences. Dialects are often stigmatized or mocked (not just in Italy, but in any country), and it would have been easy to pick a few vocabulary items to have fun with, but instead they really did their homework, engaging a panel of dialect scholars at various universities to put together a guide to 135 characteristic expressions from 16 different regions. It is “exclusively reserved for those who want to enjoy, with a smile, the beauty of our dialects.” Customers in Italy can purchase jars of Nutella personalized with labels showing the expressions of their region.
In this ad we see Italians starting the day with the terms unique to their dialects. It begins with Sveglia!, the standard Italian way to say “Wake up!”, and then turns to words such as jamm’bbèll (“Get a move on!” in the area around Naples), ’nem ’nem (“Let’s go!” around Milan), anduma (“Let’s go,” around Turin), ddìscitate (“Wake up,” around Brindisi) and dàje (“Come on!” in Rome).
Another commercial turns to the experts, the grandpas. Three Italian nonni, from Rome, Milan, and Naples, explain how they say things like “how beautiful!” “how ugly!” and “hurry up!” They also sing a bit and talk about which dialects they have trouble understanding. Of course, they all understand “Nutella.” You don’t have to understand any dialect of Italian to appreciate these grandpas, or the love and respect for language shown in this campaign.