United Colours Of Benetton Essay Research Paper — страница 3

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sentenced to death. Toscani has said, We will look back at this kind of justice one day and we will consider ourselves very primitive. Maybe, after essentially coming face to face with the prisoners, we would be less likely to think of them as beasts. Even in my short life, I have become accustomed to seeing graphic images from many different sources: movies, television, the internet and even newspapers. We seem to pride ourselves in our freedom to express ourselves however we want. We also take pride in our level of tolerance of all cultures and our awareness of world issues. This is why I am very surprised at the number of bans and criticisms Benetton have faced over its advertisement campaigns in the U.S.A. It seems strange to me that in this day and age, that Benetton s

advertisements could cause such a stir. I believe that Benetton s advertisements are criticised because they are associated with merchandising. Benetton is not in the business of raising social conscience; it is selling clothing. This devalues whatever message any advertisement ever tries to tell us because it is associated with money. I believe that Benetton tries to create a bridge between art and advertising. Our society however, is not used to this strange combination. Advertising is seen as a fantasy world and Benetton s advertisements show very real problems. The problem that this brings up is what should advertisers do? They are forced to either simply advertise their product traditionally or to be criticised heavily as Benetton has been. If Benetton actually does want to

make the world a better place by raising awareness of world issues, how are they to prove it? If the attention of the public is Benetton s sole purpose, then they need not include their logo on the images. What would be left would be a public service announcement. Benetton advertisements provide no means by which the consumer can help the problem. Another problem that would arise if Benetton did choose to remove their logo is how would they fund the campaigns? This leaves two possible solutions. Benetton could donate money to existing organisations that fight the problems that Benetton has addressed or they could choose to do what they have done; create their own images with private funds generated by using these images as advertisements. The only problem with this solution is

the lack of actual help that it can do. Nowhere in any of Benetton s advertisements are there phone numbers to call or organisations to contact about how to actually help fight the problem addressed. For example, in the death row campaign we simply see the face of the man to be put to death with no information of the crime, trial, or possible innocence of the accused. In addition to the problem of the lack of information, one must ask the question of whether or not the issues Benetton shows are even worth showing. The only really controversial issue that they have ever tackled is that of the death penalty and here they have conveniently left out an opinion. It would seem as if Benetton chooses not to take a strong stance on controversial issues in order not to alienate any

potential customers. This bring up another interesting point. By purchasing Benetton products, does the customer feel that he/she has helped the problems that Benetton put in its advertisements? I believe that to come to a conclusion on this issue we must examine just exactly who is Benetton s target audience. In general, Benetton clothing is fairly expensive and their advertisements are run in magazines that are read mostly by people who are well educated and can afford to purchase the products shown. However, we must realise that we are dealing with a new form of advertising, and evaluating it with the old fashioned concept of what advertising should be. I believe that in our society today, we should try to open our minds to consider the possibility that these advertisements

are a real attempt to help the world and not another corporate attempt at consumer manipulation.