Based in Italy, the Benetton Group is a fashion brand that is recognized in the global apparel industry. In the past, the company was associated with very controversial and silent advertisements consisting of pictures meant to send messages to clients. Specifically, in the year 1990, the company spent more than $8 million in advertisement campaigns that spurred a lot of controversy since they depicted the elements of different races sharing a common bond.
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Among the controversial and silent picture advertisements in the year 1990 included the image of a white man and a black man handcuffed together. Besides, there was the image of an infant white child being nursed by a black woman. In April the same year, the famous ad showing a black child’s hand resting in a white man’s palm was launched.
The then company’s general manager representing the US stores stated that “we like to follow up a strong, controversial campaign with a softer approach” (Benetton Group, 2014, par. 6).
Thus, this analytical treatise attempts to recreate the Black and White Hand advertisement in terms of its appropriate message, goal of the campaign and targeted audience, and a model for the advertisement strategy. Besides, the treatise formulates an integrated marketing communication plan and recommends third parties to approach to gain support for the campaign.
The Black and White Hand
There is no limit to humanity. The center of happiness is in the fashion we share, the vision we want, and the little efforts for integration of our lovely cultures. At the Benetton Group, there is always something for everyone, small and big, in a classless society since fashion is a language of love!
Goal and Targeted Audiences
This advertisement has a complex presentation and it directly appeals to unity of mankind across the globe. Perception of the mind is often ignited through a series of propaganda initiatives aimed at awakening involuntary desire to possess or associate with a product or service. The advertisement is meant for the western market since the picture attempts to bridge the gap between the whites and the blacks.
The advertisement appeals to acceptance and cultural integration as part of the fashion subjectivity. The commercial is strategically sound since it is designed for the general audience. The poster is driven by the object of perfection designed to convey information to mankind about the attractiveness of integrated views on racism. The commercial has employed an emotive language to reveal the benefits of integration to make a fashion statement (Belch and Belch, 2012).
The strategically placed background light purple color is an eye catcher noting that the rest of the advertisement is of distinct black and brown colors. In addition, the reader or viewer would immediately develop curiosity to understand the symbolic importance of the mixed colors and the misplaced hands of a white and a black person in the then uncomfortable relationship.
This instigates the interest to try to understand the essence of the advertisement message. Immediately after viewing the advertisement, a vivid person would develop a desire to associate with the advertisement since the setting of the picture is that of an emotional embrace. Thus, a viewer would want to know what the advertisement means to them (Belch and Belch, 2012).
This advertisement appeals to a balance between rational and emotional desire to respond to the message. As a result, it creates an intrinsic motivation response that triggers the mind to activate affiliation, self acceptance, and feign community feeling with the company’s fashion products. In the end, this advertisement succeeds in appealing to emotions through capitalization on biases and prejudices of people.
In terms of action, this advertisement creates a picture of the reality of the results of embracing one another. Notably, the balance of colors and use of a common surrounding is likely to motivate action as the subconscious mind of a viewer would be ignited to give a second thought to the message. Therefore, a response to the advertisement will emaciate from the bandwagon technique which heaps pressure on the mind to follow the perceive message.
The advertisement targets people of different races and ages. The fashion company has apparels for children and adults from different backgrounds. The ad is publicized because it touches on the element of love and fashion. Thus, the benefits and values of the Benetton Group products must be communicated through the racial integration to the target market.
The advertisement is focused to persuade the humanity about the relevance of the fashion products since everybody wants to associate with lovely apparels. Racism is depicted in this commercial as the worst enemy to the freedom of fashion.
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The advertisement has utilized the cross cultural image to build cultural and social values that associate the Benetton Group’s product with integration. The product emphasizes the culture of freedom and happiness as visualized on the image. This advertisement would easily persuade a potential client to purchase the company’s products to enjoy the freedom as a result of cultural integration. The minority and the majority groups of clients would equally want to associate with the company (Belch and Belch, 2012).
Advertisement Strategy Model
Sustainability is required on placement of an advertisement strategy. There are two components of sustainability. The first, which is more limited, refers to the sustainability of the place brand itself in the advertisement.
Several key preconditions emerge such as a long-term commitment to the place advertisement brand strategy, rather than a series of short-term, ad hoc campaigns, adequate budget allocation, responsiveness to societal changes, and the need for specific objectives, underpinned by rigorous research (West, Ford, and Ibrahim, 2010).
Thus, in order to move the Benetton Group brand forward through this advertisement, it is critical to adopt brand amalgamation and consolidation through a long term communication strategy that directly appeals to the target market. The main stages involved in the advertisement strategy model for the Black and White Hand picture are the development and implementation strategy stage, negotiating media contract stage, and monitoring the campaign stage.
Developing an implementation strategy stage
Developing an implementation strategy involves creating a high level strategy. This involves increasing awareness, building community, and generating publicity. The advertisement tactics and keywords are derived at stage one to create the wanted image and optimize integration with the target group.
Therefore, through timely appeal to emotions and self prejudice, the advertisement plan will skew human mind towards embracing the ‘perceived goodness’ and need to identify with ‘the ideal’ in the advertisement strategy. Interestingly, these aspects are clearly integrated at this stage as perfect in the advertisement plan about the company’s fashion apparels through the use of bright and powerful communication themes such as the integrated society.
The Benetton Group Company has a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of the local market, technological competition, quality assurance, cultural compliance, and effective marketing skills when reaching its target market through the advertisement plan. The language used in the intended market is critical.
For instance, the message, at Benetton Group, there is always something for everyone, small and big, in a classless society since fashion is a language, directly appeals to the targeted clients. Besides, the clients will find it easy to associate with the company’s products. The fact that the participants of the trade activity share a common humanity will facilitate an easy entry and further penetration into the market when incorporated in the advertisement plan.
Negotiating media contract stage
In the media contract negotiation stage, the agents of the advertisement plan define the terms, prerequisites and conditions of engagement to achieve the best possible deal. The aspects of compensation for breach of contract are discussed and acknowledgment arranged to cover the costing and scheduling of the advertisement. In addition, the liabilities and potential risks are explored against possible remedies.
Besides, expectations and intentions are defined to minimize conflict of interest with the other party. In the case of the Benetton Group Company, I would propose the social media and a mixture of television contracts since a good percentage of the targeted audience have access to these communication tools.
Monitoring the campaign stage
During the stage of monitoring campaign, the advertisement plan agents endeavor to monitor the response rate and the duration or period of advertisement as stipulated in the contract. The effects of media on the marketing campaign are weighed against the suitability of marketing approaches.
Therefore, realistic market assessment and creation of a unique market niche are the main prerequisite for successful advertisement campaign monitoring. In the case of the Benetton Group Company, I would generate the performance of the Black and White Hand through bi-monthly reports and track the comment of the targeted audience.
Integrated Marketing Communication Plan
Technologies used and expected results
The Black and White Hand ad will be placed in the local daily. This saves the company costs relating to printing, maintaining and circulating the advertisement.
Based on the first dimension of the competing values framework, the advertisement already has the advantage of flexible model, it is possible to adjust the size of the business or eliminate other medium of advertisement that do not reach the global appeal goal. Through the local newspapers, the company will expect higher acceptance of their products, since most of the target clients have access to the dailies.
The advertisement may also be presented in the television since nearly 80% of the target market own or have access to television. As a result, more clients will be cued towards the company’s products through repetitive advertisement. Lastly, the company may use the technology of billboards to pass the message in this advertisement. Targeted clients will embrace the product more than before, since the billboards will permanently create the company’s image in the mind of the potential customers (West, Ford, and Ibrahim, 2010).
Communicating the message and goals
Reflectively, the advertisements proposed will aim at creating product awareness among the potential customers. In order to make substantial sales and increase product awareness, the company should adopt strategies that communicate its products to a large number of people (Jobber, 2012).
This can only be achieved through selecting an advertisement medium that is accessible to many people. While organizations have numerous advertisement media to choose from, not all media are accessible by all consumers.
In the case of the Benetton Group Company’s brand awareness strategy, the company intends to use television and social media as its advertisement medium. This advertisement would easily persuade a potential client to purchase the company’s products to enjoy the freedom as a result of cultural integration.
Perceptions are unique ways through which consumers internalize and interpret information about a product. The perception could be in relation to price, quality, and quantity. Therefore, the Benetton Group Company should introduce the aspect of appealing to the ideals of the target population by contracting a popular celebrity, who has a global appeal, as the company’s product image.
Through recommendations of such celebrity or a popular public figure, the target consumers would be persuaded to try out the ideal product recommended by their favorite celebrity. Besides, using this celebrity will motivate the target market to buy the company’s products.
The motion pictures of the celebrity communicating the message in the company’s advertisement media tools will cue the minds of the target market to develop a cult like following of the products (Wormeli, 2007). These messages should then be shared in different social media networks such as the YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to expand on the company’s product visibility.
The television and social media advertisements for the company’ products should also include catchy advertisement short messages that appeal to the target market. In the aspect of self concept, marketing strategies for the company should be based on idolizing the mankind as members of an integrated community.
This can be achieved through extrapolating the content of these products and their benefits to a potential consumer (Kossowski, 2007). When the celebrity endorsement messages are properly aligned towards the perception of the target market, Benetton Group Company’s brand will be more popular in the segmented market.
The advertisement messages for the Benetton Group Company products should be deeply entrenched in the principle of keeping reliable and professional reputation in convincing customers. Through timely appeal to emotions and self prejudice, the Benetton Group Company should increase their advertisement in the social media and billboards.
The company will succeed in implementing this aspect of ‘jumping the queue’ ahead of other competitors through visible signs all over the target regions (Wormeli, 2007). The company can use a strategic brand equity model to integrate the advertisement approach to its market penetration strategies.
Advertisements are very manipulative and use tactics that directly and involuntarily appeal to the mind of the target person. Despite ignorance of the same and disbelief of their effects, advertisements remain complex and significant in the choice of products owned by an individual. Usually, advertisements appeal to memory or emotional response.
As a result, it creates an intrinsic motivation response that triggers the mind to activate affiliation, self -acceptance, and feign community feeling. In the end, advertisements succeed in appealing to emotions through capitalization on biases and prejudices of people. Therefore, a response to an advertisement will emaciate from the bandwagon technique which heaps pressure on the mind to follow the perceive crowd (West, Ford, and Ibrahim, 2010).
The company may partner with the online purchasing sites such as the Amazon and the Ebay. These sites double up as advertisers and may actually offer attractive offers to further cut down the cost of the advertisement.
Besides, the companies will be in a position to make its products easily available to the more than one billion customers who visit the sites. The support of the above companies would translate into expansion of the target market by almost double since the partnering companies have access to apparel and fashion markets across the globe.
Reflectively, the successes of the promotional messages will be entrenched in the principle of keeping reliable and professional reputation in exchanging ideas and convincing customers. Therefore, through timely appeal to emotions and self-prejudice, the Benetton Group Company will skew its advertisement messages towards embracing the ‘perceived goodness’ and need to identify with ‘the ideal’ in the packaging of the shoe products.
These pop up memories will actively reminisce and provoke an involuntary response when noticed in an advertisement. The Benetton Group Company will succeed in implementing this aspect of ‘jumping the queue’ ahead of other competitors through visible and inducing signs all over the targeted market. Upon noticing the signs, the mind will perceive them to belong to the Benetton Group Company, irrespective of the physical geography at the moment.
These advertisements erected signs will endeavor to cue the visual mental aspect of a person into a particular brand of the different brands of the Benetton Group Company. The advertisement is meant for the western market since the picture in attempts to bridge the gap between the whites and the blacks. The advertisement appeals to acceptance and cultural integration as part of the fashion subjectivity.
Belch, G., & Belch, M. (2012). Advertising and promotion: An integrated marketing communications perspective (9th Ed.). Boston, Bo: Irwin.
Benetton Group. (2014). Media and press. Retrieved from http://www.benettongroup.com/
Jobber, D. (2012).Principles and practice of marketing. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Publishers.
Kossowski, A. (2007). Strategic management: Porter’s model of generic competitive strategies – theory and analysis. GRIN Verlag: GmbH, München.
West, C., Ford, J., & Ibrahim, E. (2010). Strategic marketing. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Wormeli, R. (2007). Differentiation: From planning to practice. Melba, Portland: Stenhouse Publishers.