Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Colors Of Benetton

Even in the 80s in India, Benetton was a familiar name thanks to the deliberately provocative and often politically incorrect ads. They made you wonder about the message being conveyed and what the "United Colors of Benetten" truly stood for.

Color is pervasive and universally understood and it seemed that the company chose to play on those themes much like the famous Jensen & Nicholson ad for paint "Whenever you see colour, think of us". Unlike the paint ad, Benetton’s word and picture play on color was fraught with conflict, high on shock quotient and sent mixed signals. You did not know whether to view it commentary on news and events or just creative ad copy

Benetton’s ads provided an early example of the erosion of clear distinctions between types of information – between sales talk and independent reporting and commentary – as corporations sought to gain attention for their products and enhance their brand images by establishing themselves in the viewer’s mind as content-providers in their own right.

I miss the Benetton-ad genre both in print and online media with its blatant disregard for established industry norms.

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