We see it everywhere. From political leaders fighting on the news to kids fighting in the school playgrounds, we cannot deny that there is hatred and intolerance in the world. This global hatred is the reason behind Benetton’s shocking UNHATE campaign which launched worldwide yesterday.
To spread their message of “UNHATE,” Benetton published images of world leaders kissing in Milan, Paris, Tel Aviv and New York, coupled with an UNHATE film. Using the image of a kiss between mortal enemies, Benetton invites people to embrace tolerance and acceptance, to 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: don’t hate, Unhate” The Benetton UNHATE Foundation
The campaign has already spread like wildfire across newspapers, TV stations and social media websites. The Vatican has already announced that it “will take legal action against the Benetton clothing company to prevent the publication of an ad featuring a fake photo montage of Pope Benedict XVI kissing a top Egyptian imam on the lips.” (Source: Yahoo News Canada)
While the campaign is definitely provocative and conveys a universal message of tolerance, the question is, has Benetton gone too far? Or are we as a modern society so desensitized that we need such shocking images to bring the message across? The public’s reaction over the next few days will determine the results. The fact that the campaign got people thinking about tolerance is in and of itself a measure of success.
For more UNHATE information: http://unhate.benetton.com/