The Benetton Group was found in 1965 by Luciano, Giuliana, Gilberto and Carlo, all
members of the Italian family Benetton. The first store opened in 1968 in Belluno,
Italy, nowadays the company has 5500 stores spread over 120 countries. The
Benetton Group works in the business of fashion with five different brands: United
Colors of Benetton (UCB), Undercolors of Benetton, Sisley, Killer Loop and Playlife.
The profits accomplished by the company have been rising in the last years (as you
can see by the table below) and it employs nearly 9000 persons.
Year 2007 (a) 2006 (a) 2005 (a) 2004 (a) 2003 (b)
Revenues (million euro) 2,085 1,911 1,765 1,704 1,859
Net Income (million euro) 145 125 112 109 108
United Colors of Benetton is the biggest brand, working not only in textile industry
but also with all kinds of merchandize, from accessories, luggage and perfumes to
home products. UCB is also the brand with more sales in to the company.
United Colors of Benetton offer clothes for adults and children, as well as pre-natal.
Under Colors of Benetton is an extension of UCB and provides underwear,
beachwear and sleepwear; it has nearly 500 stores worldwide, but is also sold in
some UCB stores. In May 2005 UCB signed a contract with Selective Beauty to
ensure the distribution of a new product, United Colors of Benetton perfumes on
perfumeries and leading department stores. Next step for UCB is another extension
of the brand on a line of cosmetics and body care to be distributed worldwide in
UCB stores. The name of the brand: SkinColors of Benetton.
Benetton has a unique form of advertising their brand; it is among institutional,
social and commercial publicity, undefined. Unlike all the other brands of clothing
their campaigns are not about the clothes but social issues like racism, poverty,
aids or pollution. Benetton campaigns will most likely create controversy, the name
of the brand is discussed on the media, more important when people discuss these
social problems they mention Benetton’s campaigns and also get aware to these
social causes. This kind of advertisement worked for UCB (as we can see by their
sales) for more than ten years now and the key word is value, brand’s identity
made the products secondary. Benetton is already an established brand and
customers are used to their advertisement campaigns, you can tell it’s a UCB even
without seeing the green logo.
Benetton does not do only what they call institutional campaigns, they also do
regular campaigns for spring/summer and autumn/winter collections, they actually
been lowering the rate, for example the last institutional campaign before the one
launched this year was in 2004. Some even say that Benetton is trying to be less
controversial because of their partner in America the Sears.
Benetton describes their campaigns in three phases:
Difference – The first controversial ads (Priest kiss Nun 1986), Benetton
wanted to break the differences and unite the world under the flag of
Reality – in 1991, the most controversial phase with campaigns about birth,
aids, the Gulf War and violence, most of the media refused to print their
campaigns. Benetton received critics, protests and awards.
Free Speech and the right to express it - This phase involves all the last
campaigns by Benetton, again Benetton tried to use reality. Recently the
last campaigns have been collaborating with help programmes that support
developing countries with issues like hunger and micro credit,
In their last campaign Microcredit Africa Works4 they support a programme called
Birima. Birima was founded in Senegal by one of the most famous singers in Africa
Youssou N’Dour. This programme encourages workers with micro credits to develop
small businesses or jobs like textile sellers, fishermen’s or musicians. This
Some pictures of campaigns are available at the end of this document.
Picture of the campaign at the end of the document.
campaign was designed by FABRICA. Advertising for Benetton Group does not
appear just as plain advertising with campaigns in magazines and outdoors, they
have Colors Magazine, they have sponsorships in sports (Benetton Basket,
Benetton Rugby, Sisley Volley and also in Formula 1), the Benetton Foundation and
of course FABRICA.
FABRICA was created in 1994, in Italy, it is a research centre that supports creative
work in areas as diversified as photography, publishing (the magazine Colors),
design, music, cinema, Internet and design. Fabrica in Italian means industry.
Benetton believes in innovation, both on the processing of their products and on its
advertising, so they relay their communication on FABRICA since the year 2000.
Food for Life 
In the year 2003 United Colors of Benetton joined the World Food Programme to
develop the campaign Food For Life. This campaign consists in a series of photos
taken by James Mollison in different countries about the importance of food. Food
means life when poverty crisis lead to 820 million people hungry just in developing
This was the second campaign done by James Mollison to UCB, he studied Art and
Design and Documentary Photography and born in 1973. The pictures were taken
in different countries and defend the same cause fight hunger in different aspects.
Food for Work - Afghanistan
Basmina, 15, is now free to find
work in Kabul. Food aid supports
her while she looks for a job.
Basima, 16, is supported with food
aid in Afghanistan. She now hopes
to find work as an embroiderer in
Food for Education - Afghanistan
Haroun, 6, and Arzo, 7, are among
1, 300 pupils at the Ashuqan and
Arifan School in Kabul, Afghanistan,
who receive free bread every day.
School feeding encourages families
to send their children to class.
Masoud, 12, and Kamila, 13, are
among 1300 pupils at the Ashuqan
and Arifan School in Kabul,
Afghanistan, who receive free bread
every day. School feeding
encourages families to send their
children to class.
Food for Peace – Sierra Leone
Momo, 60, and Rose, 22, fought on
fought opposite sides of the civil war
in Sierra Leone. Food aid encouraged
the disarmament process and they,
and other ex-combatants, now
receive rations while retraining as
Amie, 25, and Abdullah, 50, fought
opposite sides of the civil war in
Sierra Leone. Food aid encouraged
the disarmament process and they,
and other ex-combatants, now
receive rations while retraining as
Food to go Home – Afghanistan
Aqulmina, 9, and Mahjabina, 11,
return home from years of exile in
Pakistan. Food aid supports their
resettlement and millions of other
Benazir, 8, receives rations on her Panah, 12, is one of nearly 2 million
return to Afghanistan after years of refugees who are supported with
exile in Pakistan. food in Afghanistan.
Food for Stability - Guinea
Mawater, 7, receives food aid in Kola
Refugee Camp, Guinea, after escaping
the civil war in Liberia.
Food for Protection – Sierra Leone
Agnes, 18, is encouraged to learn
about HIV at a sex education project
for prostitutes and abused women in
Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The main challenge to this campaign was helping the World Food
Programme, an extension of United Nations that fights the global issue of
This campaign was target to men and women over 16, especially young
The marketing objective is hard to describe in this kind of advertisement, of
course UCB expects to get something in return from the public. As a
campaign it works mostly as a divulger of the brand, not only UCB as a
fashion clothing store, but also as an activist company, concerned about
global issues. Again is in the interest of the brand’s value. The public aimed
by Benetton is also intellectually sophisticated enough to stop assailing
them with buy now type id advertisements5.
The advertisement theme was Global Hunger and the concept of the
campaign was created by FABRICA under the theme Food. Food is crucial to
life, nowadays every 5 seconds someone dies from causes related to food.
By supporting the World Food Programme we are not supporting those who
need the food we are creating the basis to let them live their life’s
independently from any food programme.
UCB launched the campaign in magazines, newspapers and outdoors in 30
countries. This campaign for UCB was just a piece in the strategy of
FABRICA about food, it was also published a book 2398g and the magazine
Colors 54 Food also addressed the topic of Hunger, deepening on the
personal stories of the campaign. It was also created a website for this
campaign: http://www.benetton.com/food/press/. The budget was of 15
The campaign started on the 13th of February, in Ponzano, Italy. It was
implemented with a press conference with Alessandro Benetton (chairman
of the company), James Mollison, James T. Morris (Executive Director of the
United Nations' World Food Programme) and the famous activist Patti Smith.
SkinColors of Benetton
SkinColors of Benetton is an extension of United Colors of Benetton dedicated to
cosmetics, a new line of products with the quality standard of the Benetton Group.
The new products are: body lotion, body spray, face moisturizer, hand cream,
make-up removers and make-up (mascara, lip-stick, eye-shadow, face powder, nail
polish). In the next summer also sun protectors. This new line of products has the
approval of PETA due to its quality, not animal tested and environmentally friendly
Slogan(s): Coloring is caring.
Marketing objective: present the new brand SkinColors of Benetton;
In 2004 the name of Benetton was involved in a scandal about mulesing on sheep
in Australian wool industry, it was falsely claimed that Benetton was involved on
sheep breeding in that country. These allegations were made by PETA and some
boycotts towards Australian wool and Benetton took course. This campaign also
establishes that Benetton values preserve nature and all beings, and does not
support any unethical treatments on animals, like animal testing.
Target Population: Women, over 17, in Asia and Europe
Sales by region from the Benetton Group
Advertising theme: the advertising theme will be the new brand, violence against
animals and the support in natural disaster crisis. So, there will be three different
themes and photos in the campaign.
1. Differences - Again Benetton approaches the racism issue. Two white woman
with different make-ups under the text: they have different colors. The same with
two black woman and Asian. For instance…
Billboards of this kind would be placed in Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong
2. Natural Disasters Aid – A picture of a nurse treating a child under the slogan
coloring is caring. Because a part of the profits accomplished by SkinColors of
Benetton will always be reverted to help tragedies related to natural disasters, like
the earthquake in China this year. That’s why the company will launch the brand
3. Against animal testing – Picture against animal testing, still in evaluation.
Monitoring of the campaign: with interviews and research.
This image belongs to M.A.C.
Media plan: Our campaign will be launched with the opening of the first store of
SkinColors of Benetton in Hong Kong. There will be a press conference with
Alessandro Benetton and presence by PETA. The website for this campaign will be
promoted as well in the magazine Colors with a special number about animal
testing and cruelty against animals.
If the brand accomplish our purposes we will open more stores worldwide,
otherwise it will be sold at UCB stores. Next spring a new campaign for SkinColors
of Benetton will be released under the occasion of the launch of the sun protector.
Other Campaigns by Benetton
Priest and Nun (1986) by Oliviero Toscani
Bird (1992) by Steve Mc Curry
Hearts (1996) by Oliviero Toscani
Microcredit Africa Works (2008) by James Mollison
Work done by:
for Marketing Across Cultures and English and Global Marketing