Oliviero Toscani and the United Colors of Benetton:
Oliviero, Italian born photographer, worked with Benetton for the good part of 18 years, to help portray the messages behind the brand. Benett
on is a well established brand that began in the late 1960’s. Oliviero helped with the advertisement of the brand with its rather controversial images. The images portrayed by both Benetton and Oliviero have delved into hot topics about race, disease and human rights.
One of the more controversial of their images was the photograph of the scene of the AIDS patient David Kirby last moments, surrounded by his family members. This photo was actually taken by Therese Frare, though he was working with Oliviero on the Benetton AIDS campaign. This image raised a lot of tension with many groups, this included the catholic society, claiming that the image related too heavily to the image of Jesus, also the advertisement raised tension with the AIDS activists, saying that it portrayed AIDS victims in a negative way.
As like many more adds by the pair, Benetton and Toscani, their themes seem shocking though needed as they are eye opening to certain problems by bringing them into the light. Benetton has helped pave the way in opening its audiences eyes to the shocking themes at hand that the modern day society seem to sweep under the mat. Their adds are fantastic at capturing the emotion, as well as the added hint of a shock value; Benetton and Oliviero have helped raise awareness to many intense issues through
their images, and continue to do so today.