The paper "Benettons Shock Advertising" is an outstanding example of a marketing case study. Shock advertising has been exploited by Benetton Group to draw immediate attention to issues that affect society, consumers and the company. This form of advertising violates the norms for personal ideals and social values disturbing and graphic imagery (Sarda, 2012). The company’ s favorite brands were the Colors of Benetton which instead of being a fashion brand communicated social messages like racism, child abuse, war, domestic violence, animal rights and Aids scourge. Many of its consumers considered the visuals as tasteless, gory and graphic with no relevance to the product. Benetton Group used shock advertising to leverage its brand name with consumers.
The United Colors of Benetton used shocking images to draw the attention of consumers and increase brand following (Armstrong, 2015). Some of the images used by Benetton include people from different races hand-cuffed together, blood-stained clothes of Albanian soldier, the family at the death bed of an AIDs victim, and a wolf and a lamb standing side by side. When compared to non-shocking advertising content, consumers are more likely to recall the shocking advertising content.
However, Benetton consumers may have likely filtered out shocking advertising content because they found it disturbing or threatening. For example, a prostitute may filter out the picture of a patient dying on his death bed beside his family because they find this as uncomfortable and disturbing. Consumers do not feel good after viewing ads that exploit negative emotions to create shock (Ganesan, 2003). For example, the 1991 picture of the War Cemetery served to sensitize people on the need to foster world peace and tranquillity but in the hearts of the bereaved families, it reminded them of sorrow and deep pain.
This means that shock advertising evokes negative feelings among consumers who feel uncomfortable at the sight of the brand logo or company’ s name. According to Manral (2011), consumers are appealed by shock advertising when they realize that they can buy products regardless of the race or descent of the seller. For example, a piano duo depicting white hands being helped by big black hands shows demonstrates to consumers that knowledge and interest can emerge from any quarter regardless of race.
Furthermore, Benetton Company benefited from media attention, successful film projects and easily boosted earnings from its brands (Armstrong, 2015). While Benetton pursued aggressive product sales, it was cautious of the need to address critical issues affecting young and old people in society. This increased brand awareness and penetration to global consumers. Since using shock advertising, Benetton’ s revenues and net income have been increasing.
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