Home > Brand Media Strategy, Branding, Creativity, Marketing > New Benetton’s campaign “Unhate” lacks creativity

New Benetton’s campaign “Unhate” lacks creativity

November 20, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

New Benetton’s branding campaign “Unhate”, inspired by a famous embrace between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and his East German counterpart Erich Honecker, generated diversity of views (mostly negative) across media and has upset the Vatican and the White House.

Posters feature digitally manipulated images of world leaders locked in amorous embrace. President Barack Obama and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. The images promote Benetton’s newly formed Unhate Foundation.

“It means not hating,” Alessandro Benetton, deputy chairman of Benetton Group SpA, told the Wall Street Journal. “In a moment of darkness, with the financial crisis, what’s going on in North African countries, in Athens, this is an attitude we can all embrace that can have positive energy.”

This is not new from Benetton, of course. It is something we expect from Benetton. However, this time the shock value of the images is below Benetton’s standard set by Oliviero Toscani’s artistic photos in the eighties and nineties when Benetton became a generator of social consciousness.

This time images created by “Fabrica” are merely photoshop montages and Benetton’s campaign risks to be seen as calculated marketing puff without substance which can eventually damage one of the most valued brand characteristics – authenticity.

According to reports Benetton has not asked the leaders involved for permission.

  1. November 21, 2011 at 1:37 am

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  2. ana moro
    November 22, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Why do we find this offensive? When I contemplated it for a bit longer, isn’t it only supposed to jolt us into thinking about our relationships?
    I agree with you: already seen, a bit tasteless, but would the same idea provoke the same response if the leaders were standing next to each other with their arms around each other’s shoulders smiling? Or maybe, simply pressing a kiss on each other’s cheeks?
    Thank you for turning our attention to the campaign and commenting it.

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