It is necessary to note that Toscani showed the products first and people learnt about the company and its clothing. However, soon the Advertising man focused on the idea rather than products. There were no products in the advertisement. However, it was still easy to recognize the brand as Toscani always used the company’s name in his advertisements. He created a whole motto, ‘United colors of Benetton’. Interestingly, these words could have lots of meanings. They could be related to bright clothes and they could refer to equality of races.
Though, people did not know about new products, they never forgot about the brand as they saw the advertisement very often. They did not need to see the products as they could go to a local store (or boutique) and see the products and buy them at once. Even if a person got to know the brand when he/she saw an advertisement without the product, he/she could see the name of the brand.
Stores and boutiques were located in downtowns, so lots of people saw the brand’s name. Besides, the word of mouth also played a great role in development of the image of the company. Young people shared their opinions and the interest to the products and the company grew. Interestingly, Toscani chose an effective strategy as even though buyers did not see the products on TV, they were ready to buy them.
Toscani decided to attract people’s attention to an idea and create certain culture. It turned out to be an effective strategy as people were ready to ‘buy’ the idea. Shocking advertising campaigns drew people’s attention to provoking issues. One of the major ideas of the shocking campaign was tolerance and equality of all people. The brand became a symbol of tolerance as all people of all colors were equal in Toscani’s pictures.
Of course, he sometimes went too far. For example, his advertisement showing prisoners led to protests (Mirsky, 2001). However, it also made the brand even more recognizable. Toscani wanted to shock people and he managed to do it. A lot of people were against him and his advertising campaigns. He was even brought to the court for his provoking images and lots of people thought he was a sick man (Mirsky, 2001).
He kept talking about his own vision and his desire to make people think of things which are real. He always said that he showed reality in his pictures and people could not protest against reality. There were two camps as some people supported Toscani and the brand while other thought Toscani should be stopped. People were talking about him and, of course, about the brand. This discussion and people’s interest made the company’s products very popular.
The name of Toscani and the debate was closely connected with the brand and clothing. Clearly, people saw Benetton as something rebellious or something forbidden. They wanted to feel the sense of danger, rebel and freedom from rules. Of course, lots of young people wanted to feel such emotions and to ‘join the club’. Thus, the company was growing and became one of the leaders in the global market. Toscani’s ideas spread all over the world and people in different parts of the globe wanted to be a part of the culture created.
Mirsky, N. (Executive Producer). (2001). Blood on the carpet: Blood, sweaters, and sears [DVD]. London: BBC.