Thursday, November 17, 2011

Benetton is still around...and wants you to know it!

When you're covered in Benetton, you feel less racist
Back in the old days ('89), Benetton ads were all the rage. Colorful ads with multi-colored people doing tolerant things that ensured that if you bought an overpriced scarf or pair of rainbow socks, then you were a very understanding, caring person in the world.
None of these people are wearing Benetton btw.
The ads were sometimes very edgy and disturbing. The "Pieta of David" ad (right) comes to mind. It does have strong religious (ie: Catholic) overtones but then again, it's part of a commercial campaign to sell sweaters and pants. Kinda skeevy. A good deconstruction of the ad is found here.

Well, now the clothing company is back in the news. Seems they have come up with a new campaign with the theme of "UNHATE". The ads tell us with stark visuals that if more world leaders would exchange homosexual kisses with each other, then the world would probably be a much, much better place. They even have an "UNHATE" organization set up. You can even join their kisswall. Yes, a kisswall. I hear Proud Larry's had a kisswall in the Men's Room at one time but they patched it up. Moving on.

Among institutions of HATE pointed out in the ads, predictably the Catholic Church comes to play in the ads. Benetton once had an ad where an uber-hot nun was kissing a uber-hot priest. I note that they were models not real priests and nuns.
I would LOVE to see priests and nuns dress like that again. Does Benetton make clerics?
But this time around instead of a loving embrace between a man and a woman, there's a photoshopped Pope Benedict kissing Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the Muslim cleric installed under Hosni Mubarak, the ex-Egyptian president. Historically, the Pope and al-Tayyeb have some tension.
In Latin, the word is "eww" or in Arabic, "eww".

Even in a fake pic, they don't look they're "into it
To show that Benetton is an equal-opportunity-insulter, President Obama is seen in two ads. One liplocking with Hu Jintau, the Chinese "Paramount Leader" and another ad shows the president kissing Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez who has insulted Obama publicly several times.

I understand that the Vatican and even Muslim groups are protesting the ads and they are being pulled in some areas. I think the world can do without seeing photos of old, moderate to low attractive men kissing one another. I also think that if anyone gets their information from a Benetton ad, then prayers to them and their offspring, of whatever race he/she/it may be.
And finally, if anyone makes up their mind that the Church or the United States are fundamentally institutions of HATE due to this campaign, then they can kiss my....nevermind...that would make an even worse picture.