Friday, September 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Sexy Girls With Econo-Boxes: What a Concept!

Who says hot girls don't "think green"?
Or that geeks don't wanna have fun?

Sexy Girls With Econo-Boxes: What a Concept!

Who says hot girls don't "think green"?

Or that geeks don't wanna have fun?

Certainly not Mike Cessario, the brainstormer behind the 2012 "Pump  Rebels" pinup calendar combining fuel efficient vehicles with voluptuous, bikini-clad babes. Talk about juicing up a Volt! Perking up the Nissan Leaf!

Art director of a San Francisco advertising agency (called Eleven) but a native of Southern Chester County, PA,, Mike and his (Philly-spawned) backer Vince Menei are clearly having some fun at the expense of the traditional "muscle cars (or motorcycles) with hot babes" calendars put out by the likes of Castrol and Harley Davidson. You know, the ones  often  hanging near the lifts in service stations,  encourging customers to get an oil change or, um,  lube job.

But more important, shared Cessario,  Pump Rebels is making a positive point.  "The idea is about the sexy choice that the top hybrid, electric and fuel-efficient cars have become. Responsibility, sustainability and spending less on gas is sexy now. Even though the body styles of these cars are not traditionally sexy like muscle cars and sports cars, the technology itself is sexy. Sex has never been purely about physical appearance alone. Both Mark Zuckerberg and Biggie Smalls could have had most women they want."

The art director also argues that the "green car conversation has just been lacking some fun and attitude for a long time. It takes itself too seriously and pigeon-holes the category of cars to a niche sector of boring gung-ho-eco types. We just wanted to bring a different tone of voice into the conversation to spark new debate about what these cars are and who might drive them."

Lending an air of authenticity to the project,  professional advertising photographer Peter Dawson was tapped to shoot the calendar. (He's done campaigns for Lexus, Mazda and Land Rover).  In reaching out for models (the car variety) the team found "most dealers just had no interest to be involved," said Cessario, "however Hyundai, Smart Car and Mini were exceptions who were cool and brought down cars for us to shoot."

On sale for $10 at www.PumpRebels.com ($1 from each sale goes to the non-profit Blue Green Alliance), the calendar has sparked orders from multiple countries and plenty of comments on sports car forums from guys grumbling "Only sports cars deserve hot babes! This is blasphemy."  Cessario believes "Hate is great, though, because it means you're at least creating something polarizing that is evoking something in people and not just going unnoticed. Almost anything that people truly love will be truly hated by someone else."

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