united colors of benetton advertisement featuring hu jintao, paramount leader of the people’s republic of china, with barack obama, president of the USA
united colors of benetton has just unveiled its new ‘unhate’ advertising campaign in a handful,
of cities, featuring manipulated images that show unlikely pairings of international religious and
political leaders kissing one another.
the ad campaign supports the company’s ‘unhate foundation‘ think tank and arts research center,
designed to organize events and promote acts of intervention towards a more tolerant world.
as its first series of actions, benetton organized the hoisting of large posters and projection of digital
images of the controversial advertisements in public spaces in new york, milan, rome, tel aviv, and paris.
online, the organization’s ‘kiss wall‘ invites users from around the world to upload diptyched images
that mimic kissing duos, alongside a message of tolerance and ‘unhate’.
‘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. actually, the two opposing
sentiments are often in a delicate and unstable balance. our campaign promotes a shift in the balance.’
– alessandro benetton, executive vice president
ad featuring pope bendetto XVI with ahmed el tayyeb, imam of al-azhar mosque in cairo
north korea’s kim jong-ii and lee myung-bak, president of south korea
israel prime minister benjamin netanyahu and palestinian president mahmoud abbas
german chancellor angela merkel and french president nicholas sarkozy
US president barack obama with venezuelan president hugo chavez
‘guerrilla intervention’ in milan, piazza duomo
‘guerrilla intervention’ in milan’s piazza affari (milan stock exchange)
‘guerrilla intervention’ in new york’s times square