Benetton’s Unhate campaign won a Grand Prix for Press at Cannes last night. While the campaign, as is common in Benetton campaigns, shocked, the fact that it won the Grand Prix did not.
Firstpost wrote, in November 2011, about the campaign when it first broke media. “In their new campaign, Unhate, Benetton uses images of obvious protagonists lip-locked in a kiss. The choice of the kissing partners – the Pope and an Imam, Hu Jin Tao and Obama, Chavez and Obama, Merkel and Sarkozy, to name a few, certainly caused one to stop in one’s tracks and notice the communication,” Firstpost had written.
‘Unhate’ is not the first time that Benetton has taken the shock route.
The brand has used their communication to highlight and draw attention to the issues of racism, AIDS, war, conflict, anorexia, and so on. The images, for decades, in a famous partnership, were the work of Oliviero Toscani, and helped catapult what was once a little-known brand into the arc lights.
“There are people who, when they look at a picture, they get angry at it. But they should get angry at themselves for not having the courage to look into the problem,” Toscani had told CNN in an interview.
“There isn’t such a thing as a shocking picture,” he continues, “there is shocking reality that is being reproduced through photography to the people who aren’t there.”
Toscani was not involved in this campaign, but his (and Benetton’s) philosophy clearly lives on.
So much so, that it wins a Grand Prix at Cannes.