Benetton’s: “We On Death Row” Campaign Michael Grissett & Guillaume Sarthou December 8, 2000 Advertising & Promotion Management Ms.
Ellen P. Daniels
VII. III. Summary of Benetton’s “We On Death Row” advertising Campaign SWOT analysis of Benetton Advertising Recommendations for Benetton Focus Group Summary Executive Summary Conclusion Appendix
. VI.Table Of Contents
Introduction I. IV. II. V.
war. sports equipment. and killer Loop).2 million a year in retail sales. and this has enabled them to implement a clear-cut policy of distributing dividends to shareholders. they have also aroused strong reactions.Introduction
The company that we have chosen to examine is Benetton. child labor. Prince. Italy and include both casual and sportswear. and they have around 7. and accessories. bags. Benetton manufactures clothing. and the environment (appendix 4). Their overall turnover before retailing reaches roughly 187. characterizing universal themes.000 retail outlets. They combine both a know-how in textile-clothing and a strong identity and image of some of the worlds leading brands (Playlife. Nordica. They produce over 100 million garments annually at one of the most technically advanced industrial complexes in the world (Castrette). Due to the company’s success. but also a unique global group. They offer clothing for men. (appendix 1) The “United Color of Benetton” advertising campaigns began in 1984. Benetton’s advertising has not only been a means for communication but also an expression of our time. Rollerblade. The reactions range from the ferocious
. While Benetton’s campaigns have gained awards and acclaim in all the countries in which the Group is present. Benetton is present in over 120 countries. racism. women and children. profits per share have risen over the past five years. Some of the topics they have dealt with include AIDS. footwear. Their clothing line is manufactured and distributed out of Treviso. Benetton is not only a family started company. They have created universal impacting ads that have succeeded in attracting the attention of the public and in standing out amid the current clutter of images (appendix 12).
Through television networks and thousands of articles in newspapers and magazines they have always been the focal point of discussion and of confrontational ideas. Benetton’s ads have generated their own media frenzy in both America and Europe. (appendix 1)
” It reveals the real faces of the prisoners in the advertisements. Benetton’s strategy for this campaign was to increase brand awareness and increase interest about this social issue. America. Benetton wants the focus of the campaign to be on the death penalty itself and not on the specific inmates. and constitute the dramatic visual images for Benetton’s new advertising campaign and their Spring-Summer 2000 worldwide communication campaign. Vanity Fair. and Tina Brown’s Magazine.I. (appendix 1) Benetton has targeted the age groups of 18 to 45 with these advertisements or anyone that may have an opinion about the death penalty. Benetton hopes that you will leave aside any social. Toscani worked for two years to do portraits of the death row inmates. white or black. fat or thin. in which he visited death rows in several American prisons. “Whether they are young or old. smiling or sad. and Asia. The Summary of Their Advertising Campaign
The same holds true for their current advertising campaign (appendix 10 & 11). The advertisements are for print and billboards (execution). The images are also available over the Internet on Benetton’s website (Benneton.” The man behind the advertisements is Oliviero Toscani. They believe the focus of the ads is to show the public the reality of
. and is titled “We. they are all guilty in the eyes of human law. judicial or moral considerations. The campaign began in January 2000.com). The ads will appear on billboards in Europe. This campaign uses 26 convicted killers (who together are responsible for 46 murders (appendix 2)) and awaiting execution. arrogant or anguished. The ads appeared in magazines such as Talk. remorseful or unrepentant. healthy or ill. political. On Death Row.
These groups are not only upset about the actual advertisements. The interviews consist of a variety of other questions such as. The families of the victims and many victim advocacy groups are outraged and accusing Benetton of “taking convicted killers and romanticizing them while ignoring the suffering of the victims and their survivors”. One journalist calls the interviews fan-magazine puff pieces. Benetton said that European law forced the company to compensate anyone pictured in an advertisement (appendix 3). They are also calling for a boycott on all Benetton products. and remind everyone that thinks that they are so sure they are right.” The groups and the families of the victims have a great deal to say about the travesty Benetton has committed in their eyes (appendix 6). Toscani hopes that these images will give back a human face to the prisoners on death row. but also a 100-page supplement that was released (appendix 5). Sears. and the state of Missouri (appendix 3). that the debate concerns men and women in flesh and blood.” and “Who are your favorite boxers?” (appendix 2) Benetton also released that they paid seven inmates $1.000 dollars each for appearing in the ads. In the 100-page supplement (that Benetton released and packaged in February with international Talk magazine) there is no mention of any of the crimes that the death row inmates committed. victims’ advocacy groups.capital punishment. (appendix 2)
. their new campaign is receiving even more controversy. and “using the killers to sell sweaters at their expense. “Did you ever want to travel. so that no one around the world will consider the death penalty neither as a distant problem nor as just news. (appendix 1) While Benetton is use to controversy and discussion of its ads in the press and among the public. They are being attacked by the families of the victims.
They do not pull any punches when it comes to giving you the facts and not fluff (unlike Benetton). threats of a grant withdraw for 13 million. Due to all the negative backlash of their death row campaign it is obvious that it was not effective in achieving their goals. Since then Benetton has offered Sears the power to review and approve any future adds. and the outrage of Sears chairman Arthur C. One such site goes through ten pages describing the horrific crimes the inmates have committed.Sears. Martinez has decided to ban the new Benetton USA clothing line. Benetton kept the details about the campaign project hidden. Benetton lied to officials and said they were from Newsweek. one count of trespass by deceit and one count of trespass by exceeding the scope of consent. Martinez. and carried Benetton products in their 400 stores. It was due to threats for a boycott. but Sears still declined the renewal of the contract. and that they were sponsored by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The reason the contract was signed was because Benetton was not doing well in America. The contract signed in 1998 was for multiple-years. They are suing Benetton for one count of fraudulent misrepresentation. Sears also said that the advertising campaign was inconsistent with what Sears has come to represent and is inconsistent with the customer base they serve. (appendix 7)
. The loss of Sears contract to Benetton is estimated at around 100 million dollars (appendix 9). (appendix 3) There are also a number of Benetton hate sites that give you the real low down on what these death-row inmates did. Benetton did all this by cutting through the red tape in order to photograph and interview the inmates (four of which are in Missouri). Roebuck & Company ended a contract with Benetton in February. (appendix 8) Missouri filed a lawsuit against Benetton February 9th.
sunglasses and other fashion accessories. including fragrances and cosmetics. Rollerblade. Benetton
. Benetton decided to pull out in March of a sport now dominated by the large car manufacturers. • • Benetton clothes are high quality products usually made of wool.000 retail outlets around the world is increasingly focused on large floor-space mega stores offering high quality customer services. watches. • After competing for more than 10 years in the Formula One championship. which complement its product lines. and children. The Group's commercial network of 7. it has a good image and a good reputation through the 120 countries they are selling in. The SWOT analysis
Strengths: • Benetton Group is a world leader in the design. women. Killer Loop and Ektelon. Kästle. featuring fashionable Italian design and projecting a youthful image. manufacture and marketing of distinctive casual apparel for men. • Benetton is well known around the world. Nordica. • Benetton is traditionally known for knitwear and casual clothing in a wide array of colors. But it felt the costs of competing in Formula One were no longer justified in terms of the marketing value for the group. Benetton is active in the sportswear and sports equipment sector with brands such as Prince.II. • Benetton licenses its trademarks for products manufactured and sold by others. Benetton had entered the costly Formula One sport to promote its clothes in the world market.
interiors. and is in 50 countries. and attitudes. • In the United States. doesn’t have a new geographical market to get in. • Benetton. cultures. industrial design. They have seven editions published in eight languages. except the United States. • In Europe. • Colors is a bimonthly magazine that talks to young people all around the world. • Benetton has its own communication research and development center: Fabrica. and cinema. as it’s spread all over the world. and a Internet site that has won a record number of hits and critical acclaim. It has a pluralistic view on things that is guaranteed by the mix of young people from countries with different languages.4 million that represents a 147 percent rise in first-half net profits. so people associate Benetton with low quality products.
. They work on projects that include fashion.made a net gain of $82. Benetton products are expensive which gives opportunities to many competitors who provide lower prices for the same quality. Benetton retailers may terminate their contract anytime because they don’t want to lose customers.
Weaknesses: • Because of its controversial way to advertise. Benetton is only retailed by Sears who is not very well know for the quality of its products.
Threats: • The clothing market is getting saturated and the competition is getting tougher and tougher (GAP. so it can improve its position in that market. They are actually focusing on one of their strength: In the world market they are world-known and people know about Benetton’s social involvement. Calvin Klein. • As Benetton is diversifying. They’re not promoting any product. Abercrombie…). Ralph Lauren. it allows the company to compete on several markets and it makes Benetton less sensitive in regards of the fluctuating economy. Tommy Hillfiger. Old Navy.
.Opportunities: • Benetton does not have a lot of market shares in the United States. they just want people to talk about the death penalty but they also want people to think that Benetton is a brand that speaks its mind (as they put the United Colors of Benetton logo on the ads) instead of focusing on selling there product.
Benetton with that campaign claims to fight the death penalty using its reputation to make people think about that issue.
Dawson’s Creek. This will allow their brand to be recognized and for people to associate clothing and accessories with Benetton rather than just simply wondering what is it they are trying to sell. find out what is culturally acceptable or expected from the competition and the design advertisements to spark curiosity and interest in their products. Benetton should start by choosing television commercials and magazine print ads to get their name not only recognized. and on stations like MTV and NBC. The problem is that no one knows what they are selling. Their message should be product focused. Vanity Fair. but they have not any much success at that in the U. Advertising Recommendations for Benetton
The best thing for Benetton to do is to stop using the death row advertisements in the United States altogether. They should target the 16-35 age group for starters. especially when the only advertisements they produce have nothing to do with their products. and Details.S. The best way to execute this new campaign is to target a set age group. The ads could still be used in Europe since their past and current campaigns have for the most part been successful. The purpose of their ads is to create brand awareness. They can do this by advertising during shows like Friends. The magazines they should look at to place print ads in are: Maxium.III. The goal is to take as
. Cosmopolitan. GQ. They should stress Italian quality and show the kind of clothes or product they want consumers to buy. but also an understanding of what products and services they offer as a company. but they need to create more product-based ads for the American market.
It must work if they are doing so well in this market. and 75 percent said they should not continue this type of advertising (death row ads). The campaign will be better if Benetton stuck to product advertising and not social and political advertising. they should donate to nonprofit organizations or find a more acceptable and/or creative way of supporting their beliefs. (appendix 14)
. Look at the companies that would be and are Benetton’s competition and see what they are doing. They would not be risking consumers for political views.many consumers and their money away from the competition as possible and increase awareness of their global brand name and product offered. It would enable Benetton to be recognized in America as a competitor with Gap.S. Ninety percent of Americans agreed that Benetton should show their product in the ads. The best way to evaluate these recommendations is to simply look at what else works in the American market. This way they are not throwing all their eggs in one basket. The best way for Benetton to make sure such ads would work is to test out the idea with their own focus groups in the U. Another way to prove this would work is from the information received from the focus groups. and not some group that is anti-death penalty. If Benetton would like to make a social impact or fight what they view as injustices in other countries (like the death penalty).
18 Americans think Benetton should stop doing this type of advertising and half of the Europeans surveyed think the same way. 12 Americans think the ads should be more product-based and 4 think they should be less political. So we think Benetton should advertise differently in those 2 parts of the world where customs and believes are different and where the level of awareness of Benetton is different: they should promote their products when dealing with the American market and do what they are doing right now in Europe but they’d better do focus groups or surveys to have an idea of how the customer is going to react to those new ads because you can lose a lot of customers who can boycott your products when you’re doing controversial advertising. Europeans are aware of Benetton’s products and they know what Benetton is doing as far as advertising is concerned. We first showed them 2 of the 6 different ads (appendix 10 & 11) and then asked the 10 questions. (appendix 14) Obviously. on the other hand.
. (appendix 13) What we learned from the survey is that more than 60% of the Americans do not know Benetton whereas 100% of the Europeans know about the brand. it’s very difficult to gain them back. and once you lost them. Americans do not know much about the company.IV. its products and its political involvement. Survey/Focus group
We asked 10 questions to 40 students (20 Americans and 20 Europeans) what they think about Benetton’s Death Row Campaign. Only 5 Americans would buy Benetton’s products after those ads whereas 11 Europeans would. 17 Americans out of 20 think the ads are bad and 15 Europeans think they are good. A majority of Americans think the ads are not good for the product when 12 Europeans think they are.
Seventeen. and not only printed ads with should appear in fashion or trendy magazines such as Maxium. and they basically said that Benetton should come with new advertisements based on their products like Gap and Old Navy. GQ. Cosmopolitan. Vanity Fair. but they should also come with commercials during shows like Friends. Some of those people also said that they really like their anti-racism ads and that anti-racism should be the main topic of their ads because almost everybody agrees on that subject.
. MTV. Dawson’s Creek.We also asked the people we surveyed how they would change the campaign. it’s not controversial anymore.
one count of trespass by deceit and one count of trespass by exceeding the scope of consent. Benetton new campaign is about the death penalty. The Group's commercial network of 7. Nordica.
.000 retail outlets around the world is increasingly focused on large floor-space mega stores offering high quality customer services and now generates an annual turnover of more than $187. Playlife. it features people sentenced to death. they have aroused strong reactions . Benetton campaigns have gathered awards and acclaim in all the countries in which the Group is present.at times ferocious.V. America and Asia in January 2000. Through their universal impact.2 million. people didn’t really like the campaign and especially the Americans: the State of Missouri sued Benetton for one count of fraudulent misrepresentation. Benetton ads have succeeded in attracting the attention of the public and in standing out amid the current clutter of images. Rollerblade and Killer Loop. Prince. at times simply curious because of the controversy involved in some of its latest ads. It operates in the clothing sector with the well established United Colors of Benetton and Sisley brands. by the same token. Executive Summary
Benetton is a unique global group present in 120 countries around the world. Sears (the only Benetton retailer in the US) ended their contract with Benetton in February which represents a loss of 100 million dollars. The campaign appeared on billboards and on the pages of the major news publications in Europe. and in the sportswear and equipment sector through the leading brands. As the topic of the campaign was very controversial. net of retail sales.
prior to do that kind of controversial advertising and they should base their advertising on the anti-racism theme. As those people suggested.
. we think Benetton should build brand awareness in the US by promoting their products and their brand. asking them questions about Benetton and the campaign. which is a less controversial topic.We surveyed 20 Americans and 20 Europeans. One of the factors that influenced their opinion is that all the Europeans knew about Benetton before the survey whereas only 40 percent of the Americans had heard about it before. and the Americans didn’t like the campaign at all while the Europeans are more moderate.
Benetton Death Row campaign was a disaster in the US: Sears terminated their contract with them.
. the victims’ families boycotting Benetton. This still has hurt their company tremendously. Conclusion
Obviously. This sends a sign that Benetton is getting ready to change their advertising and hopefully position themselves better in the American market. So Benetton did not build brand awareness (which was one of the purposes of the campaign) because no one knows who they are. the have to adapt their advertising some to fit the country they wish to sell to. the State of Missouri law suit. They have since dismissed Oliviero Toscani. but as long as they stick to what works in the market they wish to enter and compete in. No more of the universal ads that cross all country lines and cultures. Benetton has explain the purpose of their apologize for the ads. etc. The print ad looks like a Public Service Announcement paid for by and anti-death penalty organization and not a clothing company. and what the company is selling. Unless they pick a subject that is not so controversial in the country they are placing the ads into. It would be nice if we are on the mark with our remade ad.VI. and focus on their products in their ads. the creator of the ads. We feel that their best bet is to stay away from the political and social arena. He was released after 18 years with Benetton.
com/cjsystem/findingjustice/2000/01/10/ads0110_01.com/issue/issue343/item8114.html Levin.VII. January 10.ht ml
Benetton – Killer Ads: Sears has removed all Benetton products from their stores!!! http://www. Death Row Fashion Ads Spark Outrage: Survivors Say Inmates Humanized at Victims’ Expense. http://intelectualcapital. Benetton Gets in Bed with Killers.com/wwa/benettongroup/benetton/index. html
“WE ON DEATH ROW”. Missouri Sues Over Death-Row Chic: Benetton.apbnews.html
Fashion Ads Feature Condemned Inmates: ‘Sentenced to Death’ Billboards to Appear Worldwide. http://www. http://www. 2000. 2000.com/2000/02/18/news/death.
Chen.courttv. January 2000 (included). February 18.html
. 2000.com/national/2000/0217/benetton_ap. February 3.asp
Leptinsky. Hans H.themaneater. an Italian company is the target of a suit because of its recent advertising campaign. http://www. http://www. Ellen. Appendix
http://Benetton. Andrea. February 16.htm
Sears pulls Benetton contract after death row ad flap.com/cjsystem/justicenews/2000/01/08/benetton0108_01. 2000. 2000. January 8.prodeathpenalty.apbnews.com/Benetton. United Colors of Benetton 100-page supplement.
Focus group questionnaire about Benetton and its current (10 questions) ad campaign. the environment. war.
Summary of focus group survey results. etc. http://www.themaneater. Sears Pulls Benetton from Racks. February 25.com/2000/02/25/news/death.9)
Leptinsky. Andrea. Remade advertisement for Benetton in print (more product based)
10) 11) 12)
“Sentenced to Death” Benetton advertisement James Edward Thomas “Sentenced to Death” Benetton advertisement Bobby Lee Harris 32 Examples of past Benetton advertisements on AIDS.