Playing With Fire
Don't deny yourself pleasure today because of what you don't yet know about the future. Play with fire.

The Power of Benetton ADs

So I wanted to do a post on the clothing store United Colors of Benetton‘s thought-provoking and socially responsible advertisements over the last 15 years. Benetton’s ads are not clothing ads, but instead pictures and photos bringing the ideas of equality, tolerance, humanity, and social wrongs to the fore-front. The shock value and controversy of the advertisements helps to get a strong message across. The original purpose of these ads was not to garner more money for the company, but to slap the world and elitest mindsets in the face! Here are a few of the advertisements. I love that Benetton is a clothing store who uses its accessibility to the public as a way to draw attention to prevalent social issues!!

Angel and Devil

This Angel and Devil advertisement from 1991 brings about the negative connotations associated with skin color. Lighter skin and race being idolized and angelic while darker skin and darker races being demonized. (note the African boys devil horns)

Bird in Oil

This advertisement titled Bird shows the shocking effects of pollution that comes from mass production and corporate factories.

HIV Ribbon

In 1993, Benetton was one of the first company’s to more directly address HIV and the AIDs epidemic. The company was a fore-runner in AIDS awareness. (Note the diversity of the models).


This advertisements titled Container shows the extreme real-life conditions of people in a 3rd world country trying emigrate and escape their current condition. Note the baby being pulled up into the carriage by his arm as other people scurry and push to leave.

Breast Feeding

This controversial advertisements of a black mother nursing a white baby shows the motherhood has no race. Diversity and tolerance is the highest goal of the campaign.

Please check out some of Benetton’s other advertisements here. They are all extremely powerful. These ads play with fire, create conversation, and scare people who are not willing to talk about these issues.


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