WITH DETAILED REFRENCE TO UNITED COLOURS OF BENETTON CAMPAIGNS OF 1985-2000 DISCUSS HOW EFFECTIVLY OLIVIERO TOSCANI USED SHOCK TACTIC ADVERTISING TO RAISE THE BRAND PROFILE OF BENETTON.


Benetton is a clothes company before 1985 they weren’t that well known, until a man named Oliviero Toscani came along. Toscani is a famous and controversial Italian photographer who Benetton hired to help them become better known. In a documentary called “blood on the carpet’ we see how Toscani changed the Benetton image forever. Toscani started out in fashion advertising but when hired by Benetton he stated that he wanted to stay away from the “bull shit” of fashion so he decided to use shock tactic advertising in order to do this. Toscani came up with the right ideas for the company eventually turning them into a class brand. Toscani decided to work on the difference, celebrating different cultures in a “multiracial fiesta of images”. His campaign started of subtle and in most of his ads he simply showed people of different races and cultures “having fun” together. He believed that clothes were the secondary issue in his campaign, as he wanted an emotional response to his work, something that got people talking about the brand. As his adverts became more popular they also got a little more shocking. At this point in his campaign people started to comment on his work in a negative way, but this didn’t bother Toscani he wanted to raise peoples awareness about today’s world and didn’t really care what people thought of him. Many people thought Toscani was too controversial but he put money in the bank for Benetton and made them one of five most recognizable brands in the world. One ad in Toscani’s campaign was of the blood stained uniform of a soldier killed at war, included in the advert was a letter from the soldier’s father reading, “these are the clothes of my son from when he was fighting in the war, I hope they bring peace.” Toscani’s campaigns got more and more controversial and he was accused of making money from other people misfortunes but this didn’t bother him and he started a new campaign. This campaign was called his reality campaign; he used other photographer’s pictures and put on the Bnetton logo. These pictures showed the “ darkest, most disturbing outposts of human experience” but they were also raising the brand profile of Benetton extremely well. The relationship between Benetton and Toscani was nearing the end but Toscani had ideas before he was to leave. Benetton had said to Toscani “ don’t let anyone stop you in what you want to do, not even me”. So Toscani set out to start a new campaign, one that was to shock the world. Benetton on the other hand had other ideas, he wanted to give Benetton a new image as well and signed a contract with Sears. They had 800 stores within Sears and everything was going well for them. For the last of Toscani’s campaign he photographed and interviewed 26 murderers on death row and wanted to use these in his campaign. He was concerned with the rising number of people on death row and wanted the world to know how he felt about the death sentence in a supposedly “free country”. Toscani wanted his campaign to be more than leaflets and he spent ten million dollars on the campaign. People were outraged at Toscani’s new campaign, at first Benetton were fine about the situation and expected people to be “shocked” but they also expected it to settle down as it had before, but it didn’t. this campaign also effected sears reputation as they are a family store and they had to drop Benetton from their stores. Not long after Bnetton fired Toscani and they haven’t been in contact since. Benetton are still a well-known brand today but I don’t believe they would have been if it weren’t for the work of Oliviero Toscani.