Controversial advertising campaigns vs corporate objectives of Benetton

Oliviero Toscani refers to the fact that other companies also utilise emotions to market their products. The Benetton Group wants to express the human reality with their campaigns. These pictured have negatively effected consumer and dealer in the United States. In order to calm their American licence holders down, Benetton begins to adjust their advertising to the market. There it is rather the product that is advertised than putting social contents in the centre. On the national and European level Benetton still sticks to their controversial campaign.When being asked about the negative consequences Luciano Benetton states, that it was crazy to change ones direction, only because the market does not accept it. The peak of its negative publicity is achieved in 1994, when showing a bloody uniform of a Croatian soldier, who died in the Bosnia war. Benetton is not prepared for this strong criticism. They expected critics, but the loud echo was in general, that Benetton instrumentalises the war for profit making.Especially in France there are strong reactions to these billboards.One week after the process against Benetton has been won, Sears cancels its contract. Toscani leaves Benetton three months after releasing the campaign “We, On Death Row”. He gave his position to an external manager. He justifies his leave in the future competitiveness of the family enterprise. 2 2. Theoretical orientation The exchange of information is in general described as communication. This can be divided into two parts: First there is the direct and indirect communication, second the internal and external communication of a corporation.Relevant for this paper is the indirect international and external communication concerning the sales market. This can be for example advertisements in magazines or advertisements on billboards. Indirect communication does not cause an immediate reaction by the targeted person. 3 The aim of an international communication politic equals the national communication. It can be subdivided into economic, psychological and diversification goals. Economic goals are for example revenue, profit or costs.A cost saving within an international campaign can be achieved by a standardisation of the communications politic. Attention, brand awareness and image for example are psychological goals of a corporation. Within an international corporate identity policy a corporation strives for a standardised and international image to avoid irritations by the customer. Diversification goals are to maximise the number of the people reached. In this context the existence of international media should be mentioned. With media it is possible to apply corporate communications in several markets simultaneously.When formulating the goals of an international communications policy a corporation has to ask themselves, if it makes sense to strive for the same goals in different countries or not. 2. 1 Conditions of international marketing The most important global factor in international marketing that concerns Benetton, is the socio-cultural factor. The focal point hereby is in fact the culture itself. Culture is understood as everything that human beings, within a society, possess, think and do. Culture also includes values, habits, aesthetic, language, confession and education.For the advertising campaign “United Colours of Benetton” different values and norms as well as the idea of aesthetic are of great importance. In order that an advertising campaign is accepted by the consumer, the company should be aware of the existing different ideas about values, norms and aesthetic. How different the reactions within the population to a billboard of “United Colors of Benetton” in 1991 are, are demonstrated in the rejection of a picture on which a priest and a nun are kissing. In the USA this billboard was rejected, in France Benetton won a price.4 The habits in each country are irrelevant to Benetton, as clothing in every country is used for the same purpose and therefore the product benefit is the same. In many other corporations the language can be a significant hurdle for the communications policy. For example a slogan in English that is translated into Japanese gets a totally different meaning and leads to misunderstandings for the consumer. This problem is not relevant to Benetton as their advertisement is picture dominant and translation problems should not occur.3. Alternatives for communications politic The alternatives for national communications are also available as international instruments. The different meaning of these instruments for the national and international communications policy is significant. In general the communication mix consists of corporate identity policy, advertisement, product placement, sponsoring, sales promotion and direct communications. The first four mentioned instruments have the greatest importance in international marketing.Sales promotion and direct communications are limited to the country, as they mostly only have a regional importance. Therefore only corporate identity policy, advertising, sponsoring and product placement will be mentioned in the following section. The most important concept of communications politics is the corporate identity. This consists of corporate mission, corporate design and corporate behaviour. Corporate identity serves to make a company unmistakable to the consumers.More details about international corporate identity politics and international advertisements related to Benetton are found in the following chapter. A further element in the communications mix is sponsoring. Sponsoring is based on the principle of exchanging performance. A company, in this case Benetton, provides an institution or a person with money with the intention to receive an economic benefit in return. Usually sports, culture and social activities are sponsored objects. Benetton currently sponsors the local sport club, a museum and a library. It is no longer sponsor for the formula one team.