Contradictory Actions in an Advertising Campaign Benetton

Topics: Company

Discuss the controversial nature of Benettons’s advertising campaigns, paying close attention to the Benetton Baby and the David Kirby images, and also the recent death row adverts. I have been asked to write and essay on the controversial acts of Benetton the advertising company. In my essay it will give both for and against arguments and how the agency has created cause for concern in the advertising world.

My essay will also have details of how other advertising companies advertise their products different to Benetton.

I will be looking practically at three certain Benetton advertisements.These are en-titled separately, “Benetton Baby,” this portrays a photo of a newly born baby trailing her uncut umbilical cord this caused exceptional controversy. “David Kirby” the image of a man dying of AIDS, surrounded by his family “Sentenced to death” Photographs of death row inmates. They were shown posing in their prison dress and resembling victims themselves.

The inmates’ faces also featured in magazines and billboards all over the world.

These where all produced by an Italian photographer, Olivero Toscani. Olivero Toscani was born in Milan and today lives in Tuscany, with his wife and three Children.He studied photography at ‘Kunstgewerbeschule’ in Zurich 1961 to 1965 and his work began featuring in fashion magazines then.

His photos have appeared in all major international magazines, such as Elle, Vogue, Vogue for Men, Lei, Donna, GQ, Mademoiselle, and Harper’s. All three advertisements have been accused of being controversial, to have been the beginning of large disagreements.

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Although many people approve others don’t, they find them alarming and unpleasant. Benetton is a large Italian clothing company, with many high street stores across Europe.The company began the controversial campaign in the late 1980’s using ‘shock tactics’ to promote their company. The campaign began in 1980. The advertisements I am analysing where published in 1990. The campaign altogether lasted ten years. All companies, large and small, use advertisements to promote their company, to encourage people to use/buy from their company.

The company’s main aim by producing the adverts is to encourage sales therefore increasing profit. Advertisements are designed to be noticed and manipulate people in to believing a false impression.’Perfect’ people are used as role models for what the advertiser wishes people in the target audience to think they want to be like.

An Advertisement that is targeting a 30-year olds to middle age people, for instance, will show thin, attractive, young models using the product they wish to sell. Advertisements often create an emotional atmosphere that draws you into the advertisement and makes you feel good. “The McDonald’s” advert featuring father and daughter together reach out and Touch Someone. Products that make us feel good mostly attract us. Many product Advertisements show their products in life-like fashion, doing incredible things.Music and other sound effects add to the excitement of Advertisements.

Either way, they help set the mood advertisers want. Celebrities are often featured. Ian Write sells “Nescafe” Billy Connelly sells “The Lottery” Michel Jackson sells “Pepsi. All of these are ways of helping people identify with products. Sports heroes, movie stars, and teenage heartthrobs tell us what to eat and what to wear. We listen, not realizing that the star is paid handsomely for the endorsement. Logos slogans and word play all help take in the audience wich are then cleverly placed in magazines, billboards, newspapers etc.This is typical advertising it gives the impression we can look as good as the models if we choose that brand. Benetton, however use different advertising tactics. Benetton has become one of the world’s most recognised clothing brands since the late Eighties, mainly as a result of an outstanding and often controversial advertising campaign, which sometimes seems to have small relevance to the clothes it signifys.

Instead Benetton’s advertising is primarily the worldview of Luciano Benetton, a leading member of the prosperous family. Benetton has turned controversy into a spectacularly successful marketing strategy.The “United Colours of Benetton” campaigns played on themes of “racial harmony,” and helped convert the firm into a powerful global brand. But sales really rocketed when the advertisements took on other “social issues” they where said to be intentionally provocative.

The Economist reports “in 1990 sales rose by 25% to 2 trillion lire ($1. 7 billion); in 1991 they are thought to have increased 15%. ” Toscani’s partnership with Benetton began in 1982. The expansion of Benetton’s international company image was one of Toscani’s most important assignments. It has won him many awards, including the ‘Grand Prix d’Affichage.’ In 1989, he won the ‘Lion d’Or at the Cannes Festival for the television spot directed by him.

Advertising is the richest and most powerful form of communication in the world. We need to have images that will make people think and discuss. Toscani on advertising Toscani believes that his rival “ad agencies” create a false reality and want people to believe in it. He said, “We show reality and we are criticized for it. ” Toscani believes Benettons advertisements are wrongly disapproved of. Benetton uses images that individuals may witness on the news in papers etc.”But when you take the same photo out of the news and put a Benetton logo on it, people pause and reflect on their position on the problem. When they can’t come to terms with it, they get mad at us. ”

Toscani indicates the public’s narrow mind and again gives a legitimate motive for his work, and places public debate in the wrong. Tocani likes to see his advertising as a type of journalism. He considers that he should be liberated to demonstrate whatsoever he desires, he believes harsh reality should not be limited to the news, news papers or documentaries on the television.

I will now be referring to two of Toscani’s two most controversial images I will explain the effects they had on the general pubic also I will clarify my own views. Toscani decided to shy away from the everyday advertisements as he feels they cause a large amount of physiological harm to members the public. ” a lot of insecurities are caused by the stereotypes in those images, and advertising is very influential in the education of our young. ” Here is claiming that he believes that illnesses like anorexia and body dimorphic disorder are the results to manipulative advertising.

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Contradictory Actions in an Advertising Campaign Benetton. (2017, Jul 09). Retrieved from

Contradictory Actions in an Advertising Campaign Benetton
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