The United Colours of Benetton

Published: 08/03/2020 by Kayleigh Walter

When you read the word ‘Benetton’ what did you think of? The image of the newborn baby with the umbilical cord still attached or the hospital deathbed of an HIV patient? 

Benetton has a history of using Shock Tactics in their advertising since the 1980’s. Their controversial adverts have always generated a public backlash while boosting their brand recognition.

However shocking their campaigns might have been, they were effective. Yes, they offended people but those people were still talking about it. Their advertisements generated brand awareness because people were talking about them. Good or bad, the truth is as long as people are talking about your company, your tactics are working.

Though Benetton has changed their advertising approach and has chosen to leave the shock factor behind by focusing on their core values their shocking advertisements continued to be discussed in University’s and by Designers around the world.

Though shocking and powerful and uncomfortable, they were highly effective in generating brand awareness.

United Colours of Benetton

- 'Unhate' Benetton Campaign 2011