IT’S MY TIME - The Benetton of the future has the face of the world's youth.

The first ever global online casting closes: the 20 winners will fly to New York to feature in the United Colors of Benetton autumn-winter 2010/2011 product campaign.

Ponzano, 19th March 2010. The twenty magnificent stars of Benetton's future communications - selected through It’s My Time, the first global online casting - have names and faces. After 36 days (from 8th February to 16th March), during which over 65,000 participants of different nationalities, ages and styles presented themselves, got to know each other, exchanged ideas and voted on the It’s My Time website (visited by almost four million people, with around 60 million pages viewed), an internal jury made the final selection among the top 100 finalists chosen by the vote of the online community. In a few days' time the 20 winners will fly to New York for a shoot with world-famous photographer Josh Olins for the autumn-winter 2010/2011 campaign, to then appear in the press, on the internet and on billboards around the world.

The names and nationalities of the winners themselves illustrate the global, multiethnic, democratic nature of It’s My Time, which fits perfectly with the identity and international vocation of the Benetton brand.

The casting attracted entries from all corners of the globe, drawing interest from 217 different countries: from Ethiopia to Zimbabwe, from Nepal to Uzbekistan, from Guatemala to Cambodia to Iceland. Strongest participation was seen also from countries such as Turkey, India, Mexico and Russia. Over 40,000 women took part, almost twice as many as the men. There were more than 17,000 teenagers, over 35,000 participants in the 20 to 30 age range, and almost 8,000 over-thirties.

Over and above the casting contest, It’s My Time was also a means of sharing opinions and making friends, a place where participants were completely free to get themselves and their creations seen. Using the hi-tech channels preferred by young people, Benetton hosted participants' profiles (photos, videos, words, visual creations, messages from visitors) and their opinions on Facebook (www.facebook.com/benettoncasting) and Twitter (twitter.com/benettoncasting), and their videos on YouTube (www.youtube.com/benetton). It collected, explored and presented their variegated styles of self-expression, and offered a space where they could be imaginative, sharing their tastes, ideas, criticism and enthusiasm.

Through this vast virtual plaza, Benetton took a fresh and exclusive social sampling of the inspirations and aspirations of the young, and of their outlook on the future. A collective blog (casting.benetton.com/blog) served to breath life into ideas that arose and built on each other day by day from countries including Japan, the Philippines, China, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Mexico, the United States and Colombia, with 180 posts and 5 million comments.

People wrote, explored, discussed, commented and debated on just about everything. From the column on New York to a discussion about democracy online, from posts by Glenn O’Brien to those from international bloggers, from analyses of the worst styles to fashion icons, from private confessions to public accusations, from opinions about censure and freedom of expression online to future trends, from the difference between reality and imagination to the definition of beauty. Plus art, music, food and leisure, as well as lists of the craziest things people have done in their lives, reasons for leaving your home country, favourite sensory experiences, what it takes to have style, and the best kiss of your life.

The It's My Time adventure continues in New York in April, when the twenty winners will be followed step by step by a crew that will film and photograph not only the shooting of the United Colors of Benetton campaign, but also their experience of life in the Big Apple: a kind of daily diary that will be available to view, comment and download on a specially created mini-site at www.benetton.com. On 15th April, the It's My Time winners will be toasted in style, with a glitzy party at the Standard Hotel in the creative Meatpacking District, attended by celebrities from the world of art and communications.

collage_winners_press_0.jpg

ABDOU - Italy
BEN - Germany  
DAVID 'ASIAN PRIDE!' SHELDRICK - Korea
ELISABETH - Hong Kong  
FRANCIS - UK  
GISELA V - Spain  
JANELLE - USA  
KEVIN - Belgium  
KIKO - Philippines
MAGALI AN B - France  
MELANIE ALEXANDER - Switzerland  
NATALCHOU - Kazakhstan
OLDYORK - Ukraine  
PATRICIA NOOYEN - The Netherlands  
PLASTIC IS FANTASTIC - Italy
PRAGUEGIRL - Czech Republic  
SARAH D. - Dominican Republic  
SHIIRIN - Iran
SORAYA - UK  
SUMIT PATWARI - India

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