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INFLUENCING SOCIETAL CHANGE 
THROUGH SHOCKVERTISING 
Benetton’s “Shock” Advertising CSR Campaigns
WHAT ARE WE TALKING 
ABOUT TODAY? 
• Corporate Social Responsibility 
• Techniques used in CSR 
• Impact of CSR on audienc...
DIVING IN 
• Social responsibility is a 
global obligation 
• Many corporations get 
involved in CSR 
• But does CSR reall...
RESEARCH QUESTIONS 
• What specific techniques are used by United 
Colors of Benetton in their CSR campaigns 
and activiti...
WHO SAID WHAT? 
Defining CSR: 
• Alexander Dahlsrud, (2008). 
"How corporate social 
responsibility is defined: an 
analys...
“A concept whereby companies integrate 
social and environmental concerns in their 
business operations and in their inter...
WHO SAID WHAT? 
• Özlem Sandıkcı, (2011). 
"Shock tactics in 
advertising and 
implications for citizen-consumer." 
• Shoc...
LET’S HEAR FROM JOE 
PUBLIC 
• 37 persons surveyed 
• Most familiar with Benetton, 
but not customers 
• Unfamiliar with ‘...
RESPONSES TO Q. 10. AFTER SEEING SEVERAL OF 
BENETTON’S AD CAMPAIGNS, HOW WOULD YOU RATE ITS 
INFLUENCE ON YOUR ATTITUDE T...
RESPONSES TO Q. 11. DO YOU THINK THAT 
CORPORATIONS WHO ENGAGE IN THIS TYPE OF 
CAMPAIGNING CAN POSITIVELY INCITE CHANGE I...
THEREFORE 
• Benetton’s CSR technique: 
• SHOCKVERTISING 
• Does it influence change? 
• Our participants may not have bee...
LIMITATIONS 
• Small sample size 
• Longitudinal effects - assignment had a due 
date, not much time for research 
• Cultu...
WHAT DO I THINK? 
Campaigns initiate 
public discourse 
Public pressures 
Governments/ 
Families/ Friends/ 
Corporations 
...
THANK YOU 
Any questions?
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Influencing change through Shockvertising

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A study on United Colors of Benetton

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Influencing change through Shockvertising

  1. 1. INFLUENCING SOCIETAL CHANGE THROUGH SHOCKVERTISING Benetton’s “Shock” Advertising CSR Campaigns
  2. 2. WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT TODAY? • Corporate Social Responsibility • Techniques used in CSR • Impact of CSR on audiences
  3. 3. DIVING IN • Social responsibility is a global obligation • Many corporations get involved in CSR • But does CSR really impact our society?
  4. 4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS • What specific techniques are used by United Colors of Benetton in their CSR campaigns and activities? • To what extent do CSR campaigns and activities positively effect social change?
  5. 5. WHO SAID WHAT? Defining CSR: • Alexander Dahlsrud, (2008). "How corporate social responsibility is defined: an analysis of 37 definitions." • Uncertainty as to how CSR should be defined • CSR is typically defined in relation to environmental, social, economic, stakeholder and voluntariness dimensions
  6. 6. “A concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis” Commission of the European Communities, 2001
  7. 7. WHO SAID WHAT? • Özlem Sandıkcı, (2011). "Shock tactics in advertising and implications for citizen-consumer." • Shock advertising - elicits attention /jolts consumers/ cuts through clutter • Effects - opinion formation and action taking
  8. 8. LET’S HEAR FROM JOE PUBLIC • 37 persons surveyed • Most familiar with Benetton, but not customers • Unfamiliar with ‘Unhate’ campaign • Did not like image of leaders kissing • Did not see connection of condoms with product
  9. 9. RESPONSES TO Q. 10. AFTER SEEING SEVERAL OF BENETTON’S AD CAMPAIGNS, HOW WOULD YOU RATE ITS INFLUENCE ON YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS SOCIAL ISSUES?
  10. 10. RESPONSES TO Q. 11. DO YOU THINK THAT CORPORATIONS WHO ENGAGE IN THIS TYPE OF CAMPAIGNING CAN POSITIVELY INCITE CHANGE IN THE SOCIETY?
  11. 11. THEREFORE • Benetton’s CSR technique: • SHOCKVERTISING • Does it influence change? • Our participants may not have been moved • Sandıkcı’s study highlighted Benetton’s ‘Looking at Death in the Face’ campaign which encouraged discourse on the issue of capital punishment
  12. 12. LIMITATIONS • Small sample size • Longitudinal effects - assignment had a due date, not much time for research • Cultural bias
  13. 13. WHAT DO I THINK? Campaigns initiate public discourse Public pressures Governments/ Families/ Friends/ Corporations Legislation created/ Attitudes & Behaviors changed
  14. 14. THANK YOU Any questions?

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