UNHATE, the United Colors of Benetton communications campaign (created by Fabrica, Benetton Group’s communication research centre, and produced in partnership with 72andSunny), has received the Press Grand Prix at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, an accolade that rewards the best international press campaign.
At the competition, which is universally recognised as the world’s most authoritative showcase in the field of creativity and communication, UNHATE is also a finalist in the Film and Film Craft categories, and a contender for the prestigious Titanium Lion.
The Chairman of Benetton Group Alessandro Benetton, who strongly championed this campaign, greeted the news by declaring: “This first award at the Cannes Festival fills us with pride and satisfaction. With the UNHATE campaign we wanted to send a message about the need to overcome the culture of hate, through dialogue and the understanding of differences. To convey this we opted to use the most democratic and modern media, those most coherent with our message, which would allow us not only to reach the largest number of people, but also to engage with people, and especially the young, through online interaction”.
Launched in November 2011, UNHATE was United Colors of Benetton’s first integrated communication project. The campaign made a significant impact on the international community, reaching a total of 500 million users worldwide. In addition to the huge interest shown by traditional media – more than 3000 articles and 600 TV reports in 60 nations – in the first few weeks the campaign became one of the top five Google and Twitter topic trends and generated a 60% increase in the number of fans on the brand’s Facebook page.
The success of the project was also due to two innovative online applications: Unhate Kiss Wall, which randomly chooses the pictures uploaded to the site by individuals, and unites them in a passionate kiss; and Unhate List, a Twitter-based list of the things and people that are not hated, which is constantly updated by visitors .
This first prize received at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity is the latest in a long list of international honours that Unhate has received. In particular, two Gold Pencils at the One Show Awards, in the Integrated Branding and Public Service-Outdoor; Posters categories, and a Gold Clio Award in the Print category at the International Clio Awards, whose importance is often compared to that of the Academy Awards.
These competitions are two of the most prestigious, respected international marketing and advertising showcases. Other accolades include a Royal Jelly at the Bees Awards for “having changed the game in social media marketing”, selection for the Earned Media Campaign category (In Book) at the D&D Awards and a prize from the AICP Awards for the best original music in the short film UNHATE, an integral part of the campaign.