>> As part of United Colors of Benetton’s bid to re-affirm its roots, they’ve just launched the third drop of their Collection of Us, themed around the Carnival.  It’s an abstracted take on this Venetian tradition though, as an array of colours are united (to state the obvious) in a collection of premium intarsia knitwear pieces. 

In true Benetton marketing tradition though, the colours that Benetton are referring to aren’t just the bright hues in geometric knitted patterns, but the skin tones of different ethnicities, which features in their new ‘Face of the City’ campaign.  London, New York, Tokyo, Paris, Milan and Berlin are each represented with a digitally generated algorithmic composite “model”, combining all of the ethnicities of each city in the correct proportions according to population data

benettoncBenetton colour block polo dress and optical print tee worn with Sibling skirt and Nicholas Kirkwood slippers, Benetton optical print tee worn with C/MEO Collective skirt and top and Mother of Pearl sandals

Strangely, save for Tokyo, the faces have all emerged looking fairly similar, and it’s only when you look up close can you see subtle differences.  It would be interesting to see what physical ambassadors, Benetton chose to go into this algorithm but I suppose the point is to reflect the term “melting pot”, often used to describe cosmopolitan multi-cultural cities.  Quite literally, one city’s face segues into the other seamlessly.  It’s certainly an alternative take on diversity, as the campaign points out, not the differences but the similarities that we share, asserting a feel-good idea that colour is merely skin-deep.  As a contrasting foil, Benetton did also produce a more conventional ad campaign featuring diverse models wearing these Carnival knitwear pieces. 

Ethnic diversity aside, colour in all its exuberant variety is represented in the collection and again, makes for an upbeat affirmation of what Benetton do best. 

Comments (14)

  1. sasa says:

    This is so fun<3

    Shall We Sasa

  2. priscilla says:

    I always enjoyed Benetton’s radical marketing. This new campaign is a clever way to introduce their new collection which is always just as diverse as their target market.

    http://thestylishflaneuse.com/

  3. Ev says:

    Love it! <3

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  4. mari says:

    I don’t get it!
    At the end of the clip they all look the same.
    To much conceptual thinking for me.

  5. JokeValerie says:

    I love the bright colours and patterns of the clothes!x

    chapter-fifty-nine.blogspot.co.uk

  6. Lauren says:

    I was just wondering the other day what had happened to Benetton. I used to wear it all the time as a kid! x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

  7. This is such a cool way to promote diversity!

    Fashionably Sparkly

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  9. Sophie says:

    Love all the patterns and how they mix all those colors together <3

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