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Vespa wants contest hopefuls to think outside the helmet

Click to see what Nik did with his Vespa helmet.
Click to see what Nik did with his Vespa helmet.
Nik Frank-Lehrer

We art bloggers are always up for do-it-yourselfing, and in this spirit, I'd like to offer a simple, one-step method for keeping your car clean this summer: the urban scarecrow. Country birds might run squawking from bozos in flannel and straw hats, but these street pigeon are hard. Only a motorscooter-riding ne'er-do-well could send them flying, and that's one of many uses for an important accessory too many people leave home without: the helmet.

To promote helmet safety, the Piaggio Group recently launched a Facebook photo contest called "Vespa Helmets are for Everything." Piaggio imports the world-famous Vespa scooter for U.S. sales, and they're offering free helmets to anyone who purchases one between now and April 30. When they contacted me about entering (obviously my graphic design abilities shine through in my writing), I took on both the creative challenge and a personal one as well: to start actually wearing the godforsaken things. My mother will likely be very grateful for the promotion, as this has been a point of contention between us for two decades.

You can see my handiwork here, and there are plenty more entries on Vespa's Facebook page. To enter, you just need to show your Vespa helmet being used in a creative, unique way (preferably one that doesn't ruin its ability to protect you... which is why the above picture doesn't show my helmet being used as a lawn-bowling ball.) Every Friday, they'll pick the week's most creative idea and award the photographer a free Vespa helmet, Piaggio helmet, or other, scooter-centric merchandise. It's a fun way to raise awareness for helmet safety, and for you photographers, graphic designers, or ad school kids, a well branded portfolio building opportunity. Get those cameras out, and keep your head on straight.

FTC-mandated disclosure: although the context of this contest should make it obvious, Vespa sent me this sweet helmet (and a handy beach towel) in return for participating. Enter the contest today, and similar swag could be yours!