I’m getting a little bored with the mac vs. pc ads, so I wanted to look at something different and save the rest of the Apple ads for the ad campaign analysis project.

This week I want to talk about the United Colors of Benetton ad campaign and how they have positioned their advertising to address global controversial issues, rather then their specific products. Many of their ads would be considered “shock advertising,” which have many pros and cons. On one hand, their images and ideas might offend people and make them upset, causing them to want to stay away from the company or brand. On the other hand, it gets people’s attention and makes them think. It challanges the consumer to look outside their comfort zone and beyond the normal realm of advertising. I find United Colors of Benetton’s approach to advertising very interesting and effective. Take a look at this ad from one of their recent campaigns, there is absolutely nothing in the ad that connects the consumer with the clothes that they sell, or even any clothes at all, yet it presents a very strong message.

Instead of using their clothing, they use their company philosophy to entice the consumer. They use a combination of emotion, intellect, and strong visual language, with very minimal ad copy in this ad to attract attention. The message is simple, we are all the same on the inside, regarless of what color we are on the outside. I think this approach is brilliant because it makes the consumer think about the company they want to support, rather than basing their shopping decisions solely on the merchandise that they sell.

In the marketplace today it is vey easy to get caught up in just the products and forget about personal values or ethics. Affordability and convenience are such a huge factor in consumer purchasing that sometimes it is almost impossible to avoid huge corporations like Wal-mart and Target that aren’t the most enviromentally friendly or socially conscious companies. While some consumers don’t care one way or another, I think there is a huge market out there of consumers that DO care about these issues and would love to support socially conscious companies but don’t want to have to go too far out of their way to figure out what’s what. United Colors of Benetton puts their philosophy out there so it’s easily accessible to people and allows them to think about more intellectual issues than just clothing, while at the same time promoting their company.