Unhate by United Colors of Benetton

Unhate by United Colors of Benetton

Unhate by United Colors of Benetton

Fiction. Suggestion. Conversation. Discussion. There is more to this Campaign.

Unhate, the latest campaign by United Colors of Benetton, is a fresh buzzword in the vocabulary of Social Media. Or may be not.

What does UNHATE mean?

UN-hate. Stop hating, if you were hating. Unhate is a message that invites us to consider that hate and love are not as far away from each other as we think… Our campaign promotes a shift in the balance: don’t hate, Unhate.

A campaign that shows (photoshopped) images such as U.S. President Barack Obama kissing his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, is bound to have reactions! Strong, unworthy, positive or hatred – perceptions and reactions will differ in abundance.

“The images are very strong, but we have to send a strong message. We are not wanting to be disrespectful of the leaders … we consider them “conception figures” making a statement of brotherhood with a kiss,” announced Alessandro Benetton, executive deputy chairman, while presenting the ads in Paris – reported by The Times Of India.

Unhate campaign in action

Unhate campaign in action

The UNHATE foundation

The campaign website informs that the Foundation will organise initiatives involving different stakeholders, from the new generations to the institutions, international organisations and NGOs, through to civil society. It is not a cosmetic exercise, but a contribution that will have a real impact on the international community.

Initiatives and projects include a Global UNHATE DAY, using tools developed by the UNHATE campaign, with events in 50 different cities around the world, in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and to support the talent and work of young people living in areas where hatred has generated social injustice and conflicts.

The campaign has some goodies to offer too. Gadgets, as they prefer to call them, include wallpapers, screensaver, soundtrack and a film by French director Laurent Chanez.

Additionally, there is The UNHATE List that allows you to add your own thoughts through twitter, and a Kiss Wall taking the campaign forward.


The Benetton clothing company has withdrawn an ad Wednesday featuring a fake photo of Pope Benedict XVI kissing a top Egyptian imam on the lips after the Vatican denounced it as an unacceptable provocation, as reported by The Huffington Post.

While some are more impressed by the photoshop work, Kiran Manral, a blogger, writer and founder of IndiaHelps, finds the campaign rather interesting, yet offensive to many – suggestion, aspiration, meant to provoke discussion.

Piyush Kumar, Sr. Brand Manager, Dish TV, thinks the campaign has started a discussion. “People may hate their (Benetton’s) take but haven’t we been using ‘kiss and make up’ phrase for eons now?”

Deepika Bhardwaj, a journalist and documentary filmmaker, doesn’t see it as a long term initiative. “Looks like a gimmick right now, if continued with good intentions, might pick up”, she explains.

Popularly known for their controversial ads, Benetton has done it again!

Does this campaign affect you? What’s your take?

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About the Author:

Himanshu Khanna is the founder of Pixelonomics and a senior designer at Sparklin. If you’d like to connect with him, follow him on Twitter: @SparklinGuy

  • Ira Mehra

    United, as the colours are of Benetton, has done one of the boldest acts in the world history. It’s message is loud and clear: stop the wars! Stop terrorism! Stop corruption! Let there be no ill feelings between people, nations and religions  worldwide. Let’s hope this UNHATE slogan of Benetton spreads the anti-hatred feeling among people!

  • alekhya rao

    The image chosen by UCB is too graphic but I guess that’s the way it can get people’s attention. It’s a good initiative they took up but very doubtful if they can actually make a difference. Hope they do. 

  • Adrian Y Roessler

    IMO the kick-off to make it viral has been great and I don’t see anything wrong in the pictures themselves.  Not sure about the serious impact of the campaign, though. Are they primarily in for the marketing stand, some CSR-window-dressing or for real?

    • Anonymous

      The intentions are not yet clear Adrian. Let’s hope this one and other similar campaigns have a positive impact.

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