Benetton’s Shocking UNHATE Campaign

The Italian fashion brand Benetton really knows how to shock and leave us absolutely breathless. After their project called “Lana Sutra“, they’ve decided to step it up a notch further with a really controversial campaign that features the most influential people in the world: Barack Obama, Hu Jintao, Hugo Chávez, Pope and Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb.

This time there’s no hate and disagreement, just peace (and love supposedly) while global leaders are kissing each other. Barack Obama locks lips with China’s Hu Jintao and with Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, but even more shocking is that Vatican’s Pope is kissing Islam’s leading figures Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb,  current Imam of al-Azhar Mosque in Egypt. Beginning with yesterday, huge images of this campaign were set in New York and Italy (near Vatican) with the title UNHATE.

But what does it all mean? Alessandro Benetton, deputy chairman of Benetton and son of the founder, says “It means not hating. In a moment of darkness, with the financial crisis, what’s going on in North African countries, in Athens, this is an attitude we can all embrace that can have positive energy. 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: don’t hate, Unhate.”

This brand has always argued for unity, peace and toleration. This time is no different. I think there’s no better way for people to pay attention to all the problems in society than making it shocking. Mr. Benetton said that he was inspired by the famous kiss of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German communist leader Erich Honecker in 1979. Benetton agency Fabrica made these pictures without the leaders’ permission and they don’t expect them to complain because their message is human. Let’s hope that it will get the same kind of response from global leaders.

Check out more behind the scenes videos at Benetton’s official YouTube page.

  • Rosa Acuna


  • Deca Solitera

    Fckn juicy! It rocks, as almost all the Benetton’s campaigns …

  • Daniel Skotheim

    I like!

  • Monica Curca

    shocking yes, wonderful yes…

    • Aleksandar Djuric

      I agree with you, totally. 

  • Iman

    disgusting…outrages…BIG UNLIKE  

  • Iman

    It looks like a commercial for gay ppl…UNCOMFORTABLE

    • Deca Solitera

      That’s so thoughtless comment…

      • Terry Gallagher

        I think you are the thoughtless one…

  • Laura

    Gay campaign or world peace? please take a stand, Benetton. 

    • Deca Solitera

      Gay campaign? C’mon, don’t be so shallow…

    • Dino Saade

      Poor Laura, is that all you saw? all categories of people were brought (family, kids, punks, fighters, gay, religious, veiled, black, asian, school boys…….)

      I can relate this ad to the UNITED COLORS of Beneton.

  • rebecca

    ” Benetton agency Fabrica made these pictures without the leaders’
    permission and they don’t expect them to complain because their message
    is human.” Oh, really? REALLY?!? Their message is creepy orientalism, sacrilege of two faiths, and a SERIOUS misunderstanding of the political landscape. Just when I stop hating Benetton, they give me a reason to hate them again. Disgusting. Will never purchase their clothing again.

  • Sabaza

    Shocking? Yes. Effective? To do what? For sure not promote Benetton, because honestly, when it’s this shocking, who cares about Benetton? Is it gonna sell more clothes? I doubt

    • Aleksandar Djuric

      Were there any other previous ads by Benetton which aim was to sell more clothes? I doubt. :)

  • Terry Gallagher

    Shameful, pain in the butt company that works on shock to get in the news. I’ve boycotted them forever. Just something else for Italians to be embarrassed about. 

    • Deca Solitera

      Are you sure you’re getting the point?

  • Fadi

    Absolutely fantastic.  Reminds me of yet another brilliant ad campaign Benetton came up with a few years back – the one with the nuns and priests kissing.

  • Alue786

    Why did Benetton decide to use the islamic culture ? Is it propaganda or what,mockery?

  • Lucretiantt66

    GREAT JOB! THEY LOOK SOOOOO PASSIONATE, LOL LOL! love can really heal the world if only it was given a chance.

  • Dananniel

    all ah is fags……..nothing new

  • Michelle Barrios

    I really like Benetton provocation campaigns, but this time I would have liked better to see kisses on the cheeks instead of the lips. The reaction would have been totally different with still a strong message. The feeling of UNHATE & peace would have been clearer, in my opinion. Maybe that was the original idea but then someone said: “No! Let’s go much further! Fuck’em!” hahaha! Of course this is another excuse to provoke and to make a strong impact, BAM! But let me tell you something: What I love the most is the fantastic photo retouching, they are awesome! 😀

  • Caddon

    They are actually very good and creative ads, negative reaction though, is expected from ultra-conservative shallow-minded people.

    • Upil

      it is disgusting and those who are againts this are not shallow minded