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UNITED COLOURS OF BENETTON TOSCANIS ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS Over the years advertising has become the single largest source of visual imagery in our society No matter where we look we see advertisements trying to sell us everything from food to cars We often see images of beautiful people enticing us to spend our money on products we think we need hoping that by purchasing the product we too will reap the benefits of owning it Not long ago however an Italian clothing designer named Luciano Benetton changed the face of advertising forever by employing Oliviero Toscani as chief of advertising at Benetton Instead of showing Benettons products in its advertisements they have chosen to show images related to important world issues in an apparent attempt to raise awareness In this essay I shall discuss the social and cultural implications of Benettons advertisements to discover why they have become so criticised and whether or not they are beneficial to society today It was in 1989 that Benetton became the first company to eliminate pictures of its products from its advertisements In their place Benetton uses powerful images of AIDS victims racism war and now even death row inmates In the same year the trademark United Colours of Benetton was officially adopted The campaign trademark and philosophy is the result of the combined efforts of company president Luciano Benetton and photographer Oliviero Toscani Benetton and Toscanis personal ideas and perspectives on advertising have since become very similar with Benettons corporate image Toscani is in fact only interested in the world and people Toscani who has a long history in dealing with art was given total control over Benettons advertisements His decision to completely remove the product from the advertisements stems directly from his beliefs about the problems of contemporary advertising He believes that the advertising industry has corrupted society However despite claims from both men that profit was never a motive and raising
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