Thursday, November 17, 2011

Benetton Ad Shows Obama Kissing Chavez



Shock ads to boost sale is a gimmick. To see Obama kissing another guy is nothing new. Since there hasn't been any commotions from the White House, Obama is condoning it.

(Washington Post) The Unhate Foundation, founded by the Italian clothing company, is an advocacy group for tolerance. The controversial ad campaign is an attempt for Benetton to regain its status from the “United Colors” ads that regularly shocked viewers with subjects that had nothing to do with clothing: A priest kissing a nun, a man dying of AIDS, a just-born baby with umbilical cord still attached, a trio of real human hearts.

In the new campaign, the leaders of North and South Korea lock lips, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel smooches Nicholas Sarkozy, president of France (What will Carla Bruni think?). Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also share a kiss. The campaign was inspired by a kiss between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German communist leader Erich Honecker in 1979.

Skepticism abounds, though — the company’s sales have been dragging, and some are speculating that the ad campaign might just be a way of jolting consumers into remembering the Benetton name. The campaign is the first part of a three-step plan to revive the Benetton brand. According to the WSJ, the brand is also rethinking its clothing lines.