All you need is Unhate

17 Nov

Do the world’s leaders have a sense of humour?

It’s going to be very useful as they are forced to deal with clothing manufacturer Benetton’s new kiss-and-make-up advertising campaign, which sees digitally altered photos of at-odds world leaders.

Benetton ad of Obama and Chavez kiss

Benetton ad with Pope and an Imam kissing

Benetton ad with North and South Korean leaders kissing

The campaign, ostensibly promoting peace and love and all that stuff, is absolutely consistent with past efforts. They’ve enjoyed stirring the pot of public and private indignation for years. This one has already shocked and outraged the Vatican.

What does this have to do with shirts? Nothing. It has everything to do with the Benetton brand and that’s what they’re selling here.

A pretty cool new feature on their website is the Kiss Wall, where you can create an unhate match of any two people – or things – you wish.

Man kissing panda from Benetton Unhate Wall

UPDATE: Benetton just announced that they have pulled the Pope/Imam mash-up due to pressure from the Vatican. I tell ya, they didn’t like the Imam’s dominant position!

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11 Responses to “All you need is Unhate”

  1. Amy November 17, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    I’d be willing to bet that the level of outrage in response to these photos will be directly proportional to the level of intolerance to homosexuality by the persons depicted in the photos. (the only male/female one I saw was Sarkozy and Merkel – which is actually pretty funny)

    I wonder if the reaction would have been so strong if they were giving hugs, not kisses. I know the strong reaction is exactly what Benetton wanted, but to me, hugs respresent comfort/tolerance/acceptance in a platonic way. Kissing is more presonal. I’d actually like to see world leaders “hugging it out” not “making out.”

  2. Doug Brown November 17, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    I think you nailed the limitation of the concept Amy. The reality is, nobody wants to see Kim Jong-Il kissing ANYBODY. On the other hand, who can believe hugs? Kissing requires greater investment. In some cultures men kiss on the lips in greeting, so this probably will only really rile up the Catholics..perhaps because of the Imam’s hand on the back of the Pope’s neck, suggesting something deeper going on. 😉

    And is it just me or does Lee Myung-bak have freakishly hairy ears?

  3. Amy November 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    I was too distracted by Kim Jong-Il’s face moles to notice Lee Myung-bak’s ear hair. (a sentence I never thought I’d write)

  4. Doug Brown November 17, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    A handsome couple to be sure.

  5. margriet aasman November 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    can’t get past the kissing, it is just too personal and intimate… I’m with Amy on this. You don’t always need to shock and outrage.

  6. Doug Brown November 17, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Yes, and they’re not HOT photos are they Margriet. That’s what leaves the shock impression I think. Would you be more tolerant of them if they were a couple of young actors from, say, the Twilight saga?

  7. amyj November 18, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Amy J.

    Oh my God. I had the hardest time following what you were talking about as I imagined the banned pic was something other than what you’ve posted. I thought you said the Pope kissing Iman–the Iman… Bowie’s wife. I figured, what’s the Vatican complaining about? It would be an altogether pleasant experience except for the vow of celibacy.

  8. Doug Brown November 18, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    Amy J. A fine return to form on the Copeland blog! The Pope kissing Iman.

    I have been running the theme through historical antipathies and wow, this campaign really has LEGS. Albeit not particularly attractive ones.

  9. Avery_Graham November 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    I did a similar blog on this UNHATE Campaign. United Benetton has always pushed the envelop, and world leaders kissing just sets the bar a bit higher!

    One word… Genius.

    It is working… we are talking about it and the Vatican is outraged!

    Hopefully mediation will happen as a result.

    I also agree Doug, Lee Myung-bak has freakishly hairy ears!

  10. Doug Brown November 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    I read your post this morning Avery. Great job! Upon closer inspection, I have come to the conclusion that the Vatican objected because of the presence of tongue in the exchange. Looks like the Imam’s tongue. I can’t imagine why there has been no uprising about this in other parts of the world.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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