"You recognize me?" This sentence is well known, and refers to Benetton advertising campaigns of the 1980s. At that time, Luciano Benetton, the company magnate, was quick to get on stage to personally sell his clothes. Thus, this Italian brand has always focused on originality to get noticed. But increasingly, advertisements of Benetton turned to scandal.
Oliviero Toscani, a publicist for the brand, connected many campaigns that were all the more controversial than the other and raised issues of resounding debates. The strategy of the firm thus raises the issue of ethics. Are we right to do anything on advertising? What are the limits that are not to be exceeded?
After a brief history of advertising at Benetton, seeing the big dates, times and great scandals of the firm, we will see if these controversies are really effective in studying the pros and cons of the arguments and the consequences of public opinion on the economy of this Italian brand.
The key dates in the history of Benetton are 1972, when the agency, El Dorado was entrusted with the brand communication for Benetton. The display put up by the agency was the most exclusive. In 1982, photographer Oliviero Toscani began his work in collaboration with Benetton. Through him, the brand gained a great reputation.
Benetton adopted the name ‘United Colors of Benetton’ in 1985. Soon after that, in 1987, the brand ‘World of Benetton Jeans’ was born. 1989 saw the invention of the drawing of the mark. A simple small green cartel with the words ‘United Colors of Benetton”, became the logo of the brand.
From 1990 onwards, the advertising campaigns would not present any more clothes. They not only bragged about the product, but wanted to create a brand image. In 1992, Benetton began their “reality commercials”, which dealt with various themes such as irrigation, race, ecology, AIDS, religion, sport, travel, war and health etc. Over the following years, numerous scandals erupted over the brand advertisements that only managed to shock. Oliviero Toscani left the brand in 2000. He was replaced by a young British photographer, James Mollison.
Tags: Benetton, Luciano Benetton, United Colors of Benetton, Oliviero Toscani, advertising by Benetton, James Mollison
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