Saturday, June 21, 2008

GEMMA: United Colours of Benetton

Oliveri Toscani and 'United Colours of Benetton' have a long history of attention to ethical values and involvement in social and cultural initiatives. Perhaps the most visible are their institutional campaigns, touching social themes of wide international significance and often in cooperation with renowned international organisations.

This statement, in a way, sums up the way in which Oliveri Toscani and 'United Colours of Benetton' market their fashion and brand to the public. The core business of the company remains in their clothing lines of which they market casual clothing marketed as the "United Colors of Benetton." Additional to this there are also three other divisions of clothing titled “Sisley” (fashion-oriented), "Playlife" (leisurewear), and "Killer Loop" (street wear.) Their products are made to suit the entire community needs, targeting all women’s wear, menswear, children’s wear and underwear.

The company is known for sponsorship of a number of sports, and for the controversial "United Colors" publicity campaign. When photographer Oliviero Toscani was hired by the Benetton team, under his direction, ads were created that contained striking images unrelated to any actual products being sold by the company. These graphic, billboard sized ads included depictions of a variety of 'shocking' subjects. The company's logo served as the only text accompanying the images in most of these advertisements.

The company suggested that they “decided to do something very controversial that people would pick up on - 50% of people thought it was great and 50% thought it was awful, but in the meantime everyone was talking about Benetton." Due to this, Benetton has faced criticism from many organizations.

Benetton Group's advertising campaigns are not only a means of communication but an expression of our time. Through their universal impact, they have succeeded in attracting the attention of the public and in standing out amongst the current clutter of images.Although their newfound ideas of advertisement have been ridiculed, the campaigns have also gathered awards worldwide. They create strong reactions which are often either brutal or simply curious, confirming once again that they are always a central focal point of debate and of confrontation of ideas.


No comments: