Controversial UNHATE the United Colors of Benetton wins the Press Grand Prix

This week I am going to assess the controversial UNHATE, the United Colors of Benetton campaign (created by Fabrica, Benetton Group’s communication research centre), which has received the Press Grand Prix at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity (20 June 2012).

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The campaign

The campaign was launched to support the UNHATE Foundation ( According to Alessandro Benetton the UNHate campaign wanted to send a “message about the need to overcome the culture of hate, through dialogue and the understanding of differences (…)”

The Impact

Launched in November 2011, UNHATE was United Colors of Benetton’s first integrated communication project. The campaign made a significant impact on the international community reaching:

  • Total of 500 million users worldwide
  • Traditional media – more than 3000 articles and 600 TV reports in 60 nations
  • In the first few weeks the campaign became one of the top five Google and Twitter topic trends and generated a 60% increase in the number of fans on the brand’s Facebook page.

Tracking UNHATE campaing – United Colors of Benetton

The following are United Colors of Benetton’s overall key performance indicators (KPIs). Also, I used Monitter and Keotag as tracking tools to monitor the UNHATE campaign public’s response.

  • Benetton’s Twitter:
    •  3,521 Tweets
    • 1,641 Following
  • Facebook:
    • 569 people likes
    • 35comments, many of them not in English

UNHATE website

Here it is a example of the heated comments the UNHATE campaign generated:

  • Borisslav Kostadinov · It would appear religion doesn’t agree with the UNHATE message… Reply · Like · Follow Post · February 27 at 7:31am

 Sam Flay · London

  •  Borisslav Kostadinov · Sam Flay Then you should show that to the Pope. He’s the symbol of religion here, isn’t he? Reply · Like · March 17 at 7:05am

 Sam Flay · Borisslav Kostadinov In no way is he mentioned or talked about in the bible, the catholic church made him to be the leader of the church and also introduced christening, both are nothing to do with the bible and are never mentioned. Reply · Like · March 17 at 7:07am

  •  Borisslav Kostadinov · Actually I was speaking about religion. Not about bronze age books that people like to take for the utmost truth. And the church is the religion. With him heading it, he’s a symbol of the whole charade. So what’s your argument again?- Reply · Like · March 17 at 7:18am

 Sam Flay · London Borisslav Kostadinov He isnt heading it, thats my point Reply · Like · March 17 at 8:05am


I used this tool in order to track keywords on Twitter through RSS feeds and live monitoring.

  •  I’m so in love with this UNHATE campaign from their very first work!! – Wizovic  16:38TweetDeck
  •  It was only a kiss: ‘Unhate’ wins ad gong via @smh? A good sentiment and some brave adverts. – JCWinemaker  4:00Tweet Button


This tool was used to monitor keywords or comments across the search engines. Here it is what I found:


Although UNHATE ad campaign was launched in 2011, the company only received the Press Grand Prix in 2012. This ad at the time of the launch generated a huge polemic specially because it used symbolic political and religious figures. After analysing the overall audience sentiments for UNHATE campaign, it is clear that even though these ads won the best international print campaign, they still generate a lot of controversy and the overall audience carries mixed feeling about these ads. I believe this campaign rose awareness to the differences of religion and politics but not so much to the United Benetton brand.

I wanna know: Do you think UNHATE campaign increased awareness to the brand or to the cause?



Posted on June 24, 2012, in advertisement and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. United Colors of Benetton India a stand alone brand that contributes a huge towards society by supporting cause that matter to the society. They are one of the best apparel sellers and trend setter! Check this out –

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