Ad of the Day – November 17 (Treviso, Italy)

Every morning I scour the web and look at the latest ads (in any medium) from around the non-US world. Then I post for you my Ad of the Day. Some days it will be awesome, some days you might not like it. But it’s the Ad of the Day!

Today we’re featuring not an ad but a campaign. The print ads first caught my eye, but check below for much more.

Today’s pick:

  • Agency: Fabrica, and 72andSunny
  • Location: Treviso, Italy, and Amsterdam, Holland
  • Client: Benetton
  • Name: “Unhate” (check out the site for the Unhate foundation here, there’s lots more to see)
  • Why I like it: OK, I’m going to go ahead and make a prediction: This campaign is going to win a TON of awards. A ton. It’s a done deal. And it’s a pantheon level candidate for my ad/campaign of the year.

Why? Because it’s tremendously creative. It’s superbly executed. Its core idea is broadly appealing, yet the execution is controversial enough to get people talking. It’s global in reach, yet can infinitely personal and customizable. It’s campaignable across any medium, and for a long period of time. It’s highbrow, yet a 6-year-old can understand it. It has an emotional heft, even as it toggles between humor, outrage, tenderness and love. It can be boiled down into one friggin’ word(!) It’s, it’s, it’s just…awesome.

Now, an important disclaimer for the cynical among you. I too think that it’s easier to “sell” unhate than to sell a detergent, or a motor oil. The benchmark of difficulty is not terribly high. I get it. But…the trick is always in the doing, and these guys have done it, as far as I’m concerned. I grew up with Benetton being a big deal, and the campaigns were iconic and groundbreaking even back then. This one I think recaptures that style, and we shall see if it helps bring the brand back into the global limelight. I can bet you that you will be seeing/reading/hearing about this campaign more in the next week/month than anything other campaign out there, by far – so that’s a start. This was done by Fabrica, their in-house agency in Treviso, in partnership with Sunnyand72 in Amsterdom. Awesome stuff, guys! More to come, I’m sure.

PS – The mini-film deserves extra commentary: whereas the print is very iconic and you get it right away, the film shows the fine line between love and hate, and it teeters back and forth in a way which is beautiful in its subtlety…it keeps the mind guessing the entire time. It’s so unconventional and just, cool. Don’t you think?

4 thoughts on “Ad of the Day – November 17 (Treviso, Italy)

  1. I am not an expert in publicity….but as a consumer I think that the Benetton ad is not good at all….it is appealing low instincts and somewhat ironic …against universal values of respect….but, of course., as you properly mention is made just to create buzz..and thru this perverse way maintain the Benetton brand present in the consumers mind

    • Hola Gustavo!

      Well, you certainly don’t need to be an expert on advertising to have an opinion, after all the target IS you (the consumer)!

      You’re right that it was made to create buzz and awareness for the brand through controversy, but I do not think that was their SOLE strategy and final objective. If it were, I too would dislike it since it would be a very coarse, nihilistic approach.

      Perhaps I’m a romantic, but beyond the initial impact of the kissing, was stayed with me was the message on “un-hate”. How easy it is to hate…but also how easy it is to then UNhate. Like in the movie, the two emotions are close to each other, and it is up to us to choose the UNhate..can we do it? It really resonated with me, and it made me think well of the brand.

      Perhaps I find the objective so positive, that I’m willing to forgive the incendiary means used to get there. (by the way, I don’t think the images are disrespectful. Just like nude paintings or Mapplethorpe photos or many forms of art may be offensive to some, but not to others. This of course, is a matter of individual opinion)

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Te mando un gran abrazo!

    • Hi Auro:

      The one of Berlusconi and Merkel is great, although I think the one of Sarkozy and Merkel is a classic, my favorite of the whole series.

      I’d be interested to know why you hate it. In my comment above to Gustavo, and in the post itself I try to explain why the campaign really works for me. Anything which can be distilled into something as powerful as a single word, why it’s just very impressive. We’ll be hearing about this campaign for quite a few months.

      I’ll make you a small wager – next June at Cannes, you buy me a beer if it wins more than 2 lions, I’ll buy if it wins less. Va bene?

      Thanks for posting your comment!

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