The Cannes Festival of Creativity has awarded its coveted Grand Prix award to a set of posters from Benetton that show Photoshopped images of world leaders—the Pope, Obama, Merkel, Netanyahu, etc.—making out with each other.
The ads carry the headline “Unhate,” which fits with Benetton’s vague liberal positioning that favours peace (and colourful knits) over war. The campaign supported Benetton’s Unhate Foundation, which promotes an end to bigotry.
The ads are deliberately controversial, and received mixed reviews within the ad industry when they were released last year—many people feel that Benetton’s button-pushing shockvertising (it’s been doing this sort of thing for decades) is getting rather old.
In fact, the Vatican sued Benetton for using the Pope’s image; the case was settled and the ad was withdrawn.
Judge for yourself.
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