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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:53 pm 
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So I have been studying this advertisement for one of my uni classes and was wondering what you guys thought of it.

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If you can't tell the photo is of a man dieing from AIDS and was used by european clothing label Benetton. Do you think that due to the lack of Benetton clothing the advertisement is making this mans suffering a commodity? Do you think it is revolutionary and shows real life issues rather than selling false promises and false ways of being? Or does the advertisement make a comment on the consumer culture, saying you can't buy happiness but you can buy social awareness?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:08 pm 
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So basically, you're asking me to do your assignment for you?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:11 pm 
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I have already done it, it has just been interesting hearing what people say about the advertisement. What meaning they take from it and how the advertisement makes them feel.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:26 pm 
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I find advertising to be a strange bird. Any feelings I get of curiosity, provoking of thought or social message is completely overidden by the bottom line, in that it someone trying to sell shit. I'm not trying to be judgemental or holier than thou, I just can't get beyond that.

On topic, I think the ad above fits into that category and is a load of utter wank. It's quite emotional, but then you see "united colours of benetton" in the corner and I only feel anger that they would use such an image to sell shit clothes.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:36 pm 
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I think the ad is in very poor taste... my other reaction is WTF Benetton are clearly morally bankrupt trying to exploit the misery caused by AIDS to sell jumpers. What were they thinking.... can you explain please Petey studying to become advertising man?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:39 pm 
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Hardy wrote:
I find advertising to be a strange bird. Any feelings I get of curiosity, provoking of thought or social message is completely overidden by the bottom line, in that it someone trying to sell shit. I'm not trying to be judgemental or holier than thou, I just can't get beyond that.

On topic, I think the ad above fits into that category and is a load of utter wank. It's quite emotional, but then you see "united colours of benetton" in the corner and I only feel anger that they would use such an image to sell shit clothes.


Agree with all this. Furthermore, is there some context or meaning I'm missing here? What in the total fuck does a bunch of fat people crowding the bedside of a dying bloke have to do with a fashion label?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:43 pm 
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How are they selling clothing if they are not showing the clothing? And yep I am doing advertising.

To put this add in a little bit of context it was originally shown in 1990 in Life magazine as a portrait. Benetton then re-appropriated the image in 1992 with the consent of the family to use as part of their campaign.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:48 pm 
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same o wrote:
How are they selling clothing if they are not showing the clothing? And yep I am doing advertising.

To put this add in a little bit of context it was originally shown in 1990 in Life magazine as a portrait. Benetton then re-appropriated the image in 1992 with the consent of the family to use as part of their campaign.


Well, considering Benetton is a clothing company, I think it's a logical conclusion that they are selling clothes. They're not selling AIDS are they?

Consent of the family is irrellevant. Some advertising exec saw that pic in Life magazine of a man dying of AIDS surrounded by his grieving family and thought "I bet I could use this to increase Benetton's public exposure and profit margins". That puts them somewhere below "dog shit on a shoe" on the list of things that are enjoyable and good.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:00 pm 
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yeah thats garbage.
I could waffle on about social commentary and branding ideals til the cows come home to roost but basically its just fkn garbage. no taste, no originality, and makes me want to never wear the brand.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:01 pm 
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But you only say that because of what you are accustomed to when seeing advertisements. That is, you are only used to seeing advertising as a way to promote the purchase of goods as a solution to everyday problems and thereby saying that you can buy happiness.

Couldn't this advertisement be showing a problem that there is no known product for and making comment on the idea that you can in fact buy happiness? In many ways the campaign could be saying "you can't buy happiness but you can buy social awareness"?

I am being Devils advocate btw


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:14 pm 
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OK. So if we're to run with this whole radical subversion of what people think advertising should be about trip, what's next? How far could it go?

The ideas in the above ad are pretty abstract and (in my opinion) have bugger all to do with each other. Maybe Huggies should run an ad depicting a woman being brutally gang raped and then in some smug way or other suggest that yes, rape is a terrible evil, but at least you can catch your illegitimate child's poo in a clean and efficient manner.

Lol am I missing the point?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:14 pm 
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This image also cropped up when I was studying design at uni (in fact, it was the very first slide in my very first lecture).

We basically came to the conclusion that the impact generated by the poor taste of the subject material achieved exactly what advertising is supposed to do - get people talking about your product.

The image in the ad and its lack of connection to clothing or fashion is completely irrelevant.

Mind you, we were only first year design students and I'm pretty sure there are far more nuanced and subtle discussions to be had.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:17 pm 
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Benetton's advertising has tradtionally used shock tactics for years now. In art shock is a perfectly valuable emotion to elicit when confronting people with your idea. This translates well into advertising because people remember things that shock them. I have always applauded them for their ingenuity and vision.

Their advertising usually plays on notions of race, gender and sexuality with a resoundingly clear message. We're all equal.

I really like these other ads of theirs:

Image

and this one:

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Last edited by youthful_implants on Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:19 pm 
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One can never trade a good product for a pity campaign. - which is all this is...Jesus in a bed - parents crying..Benetton.

"Oh look at the sick man...wow benetton really have their ear to the ground to show such a scene...we must but something from them..so we can save ourselves from a similar fate..."

COME ON!!!! REALLY???? The average consumer thinks not of such things..

They see a sick man...and think - hmm...he must have worked himself to death in a Benetton sweatshop in downtown vietnam :p

OH WAIT!!! I Get it now..the ad is for the black tshirt :P

Not helping am i!?!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:22 pm 
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Here are a few other adds from the same campaign..

**EDIT** Youthfulimplants just did em

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:24 pm 
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^ thats pretty full on hey.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:28 pm 
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same o wrote:
Here are a few other adds from the same campaign..

**EDIT** Youthfulimplants just did em

Image


What a pack of utter, utter cunts. The fact that some twat got paid millions to come up with that is proof there's no god.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:33 pm 
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The campaign was not done by an advertising executives or creatives. To be fair, I don't think any one in advertising could have come up with the idea. It was done by Olivero Toscani

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliviero_Toscani


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:33 pm 
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^^ Thats the shock that sells clothes.

They're not being cunts IMO, they're drawing attention to a problem most people would choose to ignore and Benetton are forcing you to confront.

Thats not even just clever advertising but politcally sound as well. Risky as fuck.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:40 pm 
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It depends in many ways how you choose to look at the advertising, without the logo it could be seen as a very thought provoking art piece. Are they trying to sell clothes or instigate social change???


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:47 pm 
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youthful_implants wrote:
^^ Thats the shock that sells clothes.

They're not being cunts IMO, they're drawing attention to a problem most people would choose to ignore and Benetton are forcing you to confront.

Thats not even just clever advertising but politcally sound as well. Risky as fuck.


Then why put the Benetton Label on it? It loses all and any artistic or social merit the second they put that on there. The only reason they would put that there is to promote their brand, which is selling clothes.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:50 pm 
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Hardy wrote:
youthful_implants wrote:
^^ Thats the shock that sells clothes.

They're not being cunts IMO, they're drawing attention to a problem most people would choose to ignore and Benetton are forcing you to confront.

Thats not even just clever advertising but politcally sound as well. Risky as fuck.


Then why put the Benetton Label on it? It loses all and any artistic or social merit the second they put that on there. The only reason they would put that there is to promote their brand, which is selling clothes.


Could it not be a reflection issues that Benetton deem important? Without the brand next to it, it would have never gained the same type of publicity..


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:54 pm 
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same o wrote:
Could it not be a reflection issues that Benetton deem important? Without the brand next to it, it would have never gained the same type of publicity..


For the demographic Benetton appeals to, it's perfect. For the average consumer, its in bad taste.

Subtext is lost on the masses.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:56 pm 
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Also thanks Pete for the most interesting thing to happen on this board in about three years.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:59 pm 
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mecka wrote:
Also thanks Pete for the most interesting thing to happen on this board in about three years.


THIS!

Ah Pete, is there anything you can't do?
And also, no one is to take anything I say in here personally.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:00 pm 
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mecka wrote:
same o wrote:
Could it not be a reflection issues that Benetton deem important? Without the brand next to it, it would have never gained the same type of publicity..


For the demographic Benetton appeals to, it's perfect. For the average consumer, its in bad taste.

Subtext is lost on the masses.


Its not if it makes them angry or shake their fists at billboards. Thats job done. People dont have to understand subtext for that subtext to have merit and influence. Their subconscious will do the rest.

Maybe I'm over-analysing it haha :teefnilly:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:05 pm 
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youthful_implants wrote:
mecka wrote:
same o wrote:
Could it not be a reflection issues that Benetton deem important? Without the brand next to it, it would have never gained the same type of publicity..


For the demographic Benetton appeals to, it's perfect. For the average consumer, its in bad taste.

Subtext is lost on the masses.


Its not if it makes them angry or shake their fists at billboards. Thats job done. People dont have to understand subtext for that subtext to have merit and influence. Their subconscious will do the rest.

Maybe I'm over-analysing it haha :teefnilly:


Which comes back to the goal of raising brand awareness over social change.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:13 pm 
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after working in advertising for 7 years you'll get to know that agencies just want to win a gold lion. everything they do is in effort to get their shit on screen at cannes. they just want to go snort coke off a hot french birds arse once a year.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:15 pm 
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I dont think its just ad agencies who want to snort coke off a hot french birds arse.

I work in retail and I want to do that.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:18 pm 
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yeah but they could get to do that for their job.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:20 pm 
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huge wrote:
after working in advertising for 7 years you'll get to know that agencies just want to win a gold lion. everything they do is in effort to get their shit on screen at cannes. they just want to go snort coke off a hot french birds arse once a year.


This wasn't done by an agency, was done by Olivero Toscani and now some other dude after his contract wasn't renewed after doing a campaign showing people on death row in America.. didn't go down to well there


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:26 pm 
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doesnt matter. hookers and blow

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:16 pm 
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same o wrote:
Here are a few other adds from the same campaign..

**EDIT** Youthfulimplants just did em

Image



like this photo.

i have no real aversion to the ads displayed.

the impact is somewhat blunted by the benneton logo and isnt making me think anything other than
cool benneton bro u managed to hire a hipster cunt to append your brand to teh photoswap / reblog / tumblr / cool pic / ffffound culturez.

well done you are still wakc
:retzielikes:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:31 pm 
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Such bullshit. Some advertising faggot with out a creative bone in his body told a bunch of yes men that they had to use the most controversial pictures they could find so they could be talked about by everyone from Norwegian film students to internet forums for electronic music in Australia. And it worked. This is not clever or a statement of any kind. It is using shock in order to be viral. There is no link between the images and the brand and its culture. Benetton is aimed at upper class, two skips behind the latest drop, design magazine reading 30+ and their over dressed kids (who go on boats in the summer). Sure, they like to have the latest content from the latest hip blog, and will be wrapped the brand they have been sporting over their shoulders - without their arms in - is now a bit edgy - but that has nothing to do with this ad. This ad is about generating conversation.

Their market research people will be noting how many times Benetton upped on the web. We have contributed - WOOP! The ad worked.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:44 pm 
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lol... so you don't like it then d boy? fair enough... the original adds shown i will say were made before things really could go viral though (1992).. not saying it wouldn't get publicity but nothing like it would today...

but hey, I like this kind of advertising, more because it makes people have an opinion on what it is or isn't. Is good for discussion etc


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:44 am 
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same o wrote:
It depends in many ways how you choose to look at the advertising, without the logo it could be seen as a very thought provoking art piece. Are they trying to sell clothes or instigate social change???

tbh i think it's pretty safe to say their primary motivation is selling clothes.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:16 am 
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saw these ads, didn't really think about them much...











on another note, i just bought myself a new Benetton cashmere sweater

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:47 am 
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fooishbar wrote:
same o wrote:
It depends in many ways how you choose to look at the advertising, without the logo it could be seen as a very thought provoking art piece. Are they trying to sell clothes or instigate social change???

tbh i think it's pretty safe to say their primary motivation is selling clothes.


Without a doubt their primary motivation is to sell clothes, but why couldn't they be trying to instigate social change at the same time. Many of the countries that this billboard was featured in had never had an open discussion about AIDS until this poster. Isn't that positive? I mean many people worship brands more so than they do religion, is it bad for a brand to use its logo in order to push social issues that they deem important? Would you feel different if the image was for SBS News, or would you see it as a reflection of their integrity to push hard news?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:09 am 
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same o wrote:
fooishbar wrote:
same o wrote:
It depends in many ways how you choose to look at the advertising, without the logo it could be seen as a very thought provoking art piece. Are they trying to sell clothes or instigate social change???

tbh i think it's pretty safe to say their primary motivation is selling clothes.


Without a doubt their primary motivation is to sell clothes, but why couldn't they be trying to instigate social change at the same time. Many of the countries that this billboard was featured in had never had an open discussion about AIDS until this poster. Isn't that positive? I mean many people worship brands more so than they do religion, is it bad for a brand to use its logo in order to push social issues that they deem important? Would you feel different if the image was for SBS News, or would you see it as a reflection of their integrity to push hard news?


But again, I can't help but always come back to the bottom line, which is, they're doing it to sell clothes. It pretty much negates anything that precedes it.

Speaking of bottom lines, the way my new Benetton jeans holds and lifts my arse is simply gravity defying!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:21 am 
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So does that mean that advertising should sell false promises of what it will give you? Create realities in which they seek to get you to reconstruct a way of being through the purchase of products? Should advertising only be happy stories that have no social impact?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:37 am 
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same o wrote:
So does that mean that advertising should sell false promises of what it will give you? Create realities in which they seek to get you to reconstruct a way of being through the purchase of products? Should advertising only be happy stories that have no social impact?


I'm not saying it should or shouldn't be anything. I just think advertising is a complete waste of creative talent. I understand and accept that it exists, but the lean calories these people burn through the night to sell us shit is incredible.

Benetton may have wanted to instigate social change or something, but by placing their clothing brand on it it ceases to be selfless or altruistic and cheapens what they are trying to acheive. Having said that, I still don't buy that crap about them wanting to instigate thought or change. They want to sell jumpers.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:50 am 
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Hardy wrote:
same o wrote:
So does that mean that advertising should sell false promises of what it will give you? Create realities in which they seek to get you to reconstruct a way of being through the purchase of products? Should advertising only be happy stories that have no social impact?


I'm not saying it should or shouldn't be anything. I just think advertising is a complete waste of creative talent. I understand and accept that it exists, but the lean calories these people burn through the night to sell us shit is incredible.

Benetton may have wanted to instigate social change or something, but by placing their clothing brand on it it ceases to be selfless or altruistic and cheapens what they are trying to acheive. Having said that, I still don't buy that crap about them wanting to instigate thought or change. They want to sell jumpers.


Well thats interesting because I think consumerism and art have always sat side by side. Art can and does exist purely for its own sake but its often more meaningful (and more successful) when its utilized as a vehicle to communicate, sell or develop an idea. Why can't selling stuff and promoting social change exist together? In this day and age more and more companies are jumping on the good-karma bandwagon and its a huge industry in itself. Why can't we consume stuff and feel good about doing so?

I dont believe being puritanical about art helps it develop - its for everyone, and that includes advertising execs and art directors.

We are lucky that ads are as well-thought out as they are in general, because otherwise those annoying 3 minute breaks on the TV or massive billboards would have no artistic value whatsoever (and some still don't of course) and yet they brighten up our streets and occupy our minds.

The Benetton ads for that reason have become really quite iconic.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:26 pm 
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youthful_implants wrote:
Hardy wrote:
same o wrote:
So does that mean that advertising should sell false promises of what it will give you? Create realities in which they seek to get you to reconstruct a way of being through the purchase of products? Should advertising only be happy stories that have no social impact?


I'm not saying it should or shouldn't be anything. I just think advertising is a complete waste of creative talent. I understand and accept that it exists, but the lean calories these people burn through the night to sell us shit is incredible.

Benetton may have wanted to instigate social change or something, but by placing their clothing brand on it it ceases to be selfless or altruistic and cheapens what they are trying to acheive. Having said that, I still don't buy that crap about them wanting to instigate thought or change. They want to sell jumpers.


Well thats interesting because I think consumerism and art have always sat side by side. Art can and does exist purely for its own sake but its often more meaningful (and more successful) when its utilized as a vehicle to communicate, sell or develop an idea. Why can't selling stuff and promoting social change exist together? In this day and age more and more companies are jumping on the good-karma bandwagon and its a huge industry in itself. Why can't we consume stuff and feel good about doing so?

I dont believe being puritanical about art helps it develop - its for everyone, and that includes advertising execs and art directors.

We are lucky that ads are as well-thought out as they are in general, because otherwise those annoying 3 minute breaks on the TV or massive billboards would have no artistic value whatsoever (and some still don't of course) and yet they brighten up our streets and occupy our minds.

The Benetton ads for that reason have become really quite iconic.


I get what you mean, but I think it's also about context. There is absolutely no relation between a man dying of AIDS and brightly coloured jumpers. Whilst I agree that art is more meaningful when it is used to communicate or sell an idea, to me that doesn't include clothes or consumer goods, and at the bare minimum it should at least have some sort of relation to the product they're hocking.

When people use it for commercial gain and to sell stuff, it loses all artistic merit. Like I said before, if Benetton really had no ulterior motives and purely wanted to use these images to encourage discussion or social change, they wouldn't have put the Benetton lables on it.

I honestly don't believe the marketing departments for these companies have any agenda other than selling clothes or chocolates or dildos or whatever.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:53 pm 
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Hardy wrote:
at the bare minimum it should at least have some sort of relation to the product they're hocking.



Why? How many adds for tampons actually have a real relation to what they are selling?


Hardy wrote:

When people use it for commercial gain and to sell stuff, it loses all artistic merit.




Does that mean Picasso's work is not artistic? He made a shit load of money making art, just by him signing something it meant it was worth hundreads of thousands of dollars. Or Andy Warhole, he appropriated images in popular culture does his work have no artistic merit?

Hardy wrote:

Like I said before, if Benetton really had no ulterior motives and purely wanted to use these images to encourage discussion or social change, they wouldn't have put the Benetton lables on it.



By putting their logo on it they made people talk about it though didn't they? I mean the photo was originally in Life Magazine, do you think we would be talking about the image if it had just stayed there?

Hardy wrote:

I honestly don't believe the marketing departments for these companies have any agenda other than selling clothes or chocolates or dildos or whatever.



Their primary motive is yes to increase brand awareness, sell more units through a well thought out strategy. But coldn't some one have a marketing strategy that sells more clothes through creating awareness of the brand by associating it with creating social debate about issues? Is that bad? I think you also need to look at the photographer who did the pictures as well who was given complete creative control on the advertisements. I don't think you can say it is as black and white as you are saying.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:20 pm 
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lol i saw these ads years ago, and to be honest had forgotten about them until just seeing them again now. I deliberately put them out of my mind because of the tactic they were using. A clothing brand trying to push social commentary. Umm wtf? It didn't make me think of the issues, reading articles in newspapers and magazines etc about those issues make me think of those issues. All those ads made me think was that they are trying to go for shock factor, thats it. If i can obviously see the sell point, whether its masked behind pictures like that, that are not necessarily obvious to the point of selling clothing, you lose me.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:32 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:33 pm 
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there's a difference between commercial and fine art - the benetton ads were controversial because they blurred that line significantly and made people think.

i know that i'd prefer to look at photos of real people instead of endless retouched 'supermodels'.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:13 pm 
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Hardy wrote:

I get what you mean, but I think it's also about context. There is absolutely no relation between a man dying of AIDS and brightly coloured jumpers. Whilst I agree that art is more meaningful when it is used to communicate or sell an idea, to me that doesn't include clothes or consumer goods, and at the bare minimum it should at least have some sort of relation to the product they're hocking.

When people use it for commercial gain and to sell stuff, it loses all artistic merit. Like I said before, if Benetton really had no ulterior motives and purely wanted to use these images to encourage discussion or social change, they wouldn't have put the Benetton lables on it.

I honestly don't believe the marketing departments for these companies have any agenda other than selling clothes or chocolates or dildos or whatever.


Lots of ads use creative campaigns which are conceptual in their message and don't have a literal link to the product. When you only have 30 seconds or a fleeting glance to deliver a message its concepts on this level that usually make the most impact.

Coca Cola has been doing this kind of advertising for years. They don't necessarily talk about the product in the ad at all (because they don't need to) but will have some cool kids doing some cool shit because the kind of kids that drink it would like be cool doing cool stuff.

Context is really not that important and advertising would be so much more boring if all ads were literal.

iSelect's current campaign with the douchbag boss "D-raise isn't even a word' stretch that paradigm even further using parody to gain trust and hopefully a few laughs. People identify with it quickly.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:27 pm 
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system wrote:
i know that i'd prefer to look at photos of real people instead of endless retouched 'supermodels'.


Amen to that! ! So bored of computerised women and men trying to sell me shit.

Not saying its good or bad, but advertising is here to stay. Its not going anywhere. Whether we like it or not.

First I felt a bit sick when I saw this picture. Upon reflection however, I have to say I would personally prefer to be at a tram stop and be forced to look at something that creates social awareness as an offset from companies making money, rather than them just making money.

With the pictures, as long as there is total consent with no exploitation in the process, I would much prefer to see this than the typical underage American Apparel model who is sexually exploited and frequently sexually harassed to keep her job. I think this has much more taste.

These companies KNOW they wont fool the informed, socially aware, educated, environmentalist market with their campaigns. We all know they are just trying to sell to us. But if in the offset, while selling to the mass market, they stimulate discussion and potential educate those who are not widely informed, is this such a bad thing..

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:21 am 
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system wrote:
i know that i'd prefer to look at photos of real people instead of endless retouched 'supermodels'.

brap!

young mayo is also pretty much spot on above too

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