The choice of social topics, the collaboration with organisations specifically committed to solidarity and the support for causes that otherwise would not have found a voice on a global scale, have given the Benetton brand meaning and value, helping to establish a serious ongoing dialogue with customers all over the world.
Since the campaigns of the 1980s, Benetton Group's communication has evolved along a definite and coherent path: from stance on social issues, to active collaboration with organisations committed to solidarity. Importance has always been given to the commitment of individuals around the world as the primary mechanism for motivating society as a whole.
Examples of this are Africa Works, the 2008 campaign promoting the micro-credit programme in Senegal, Volunteers in Colors, in collaboration with United Nations Volunteers, for the International Year of Voluntary Work in 2001, Food for Life, together with the World Food Programme in 2003, and the James & Other Apes campaign to protect primates, in 2004.
The social commitment programme also includes the activities of the UNHATE Foundation, which aims to contribute to the creation of a new culture against hate, building on the founding values of Benetton Group.
In 2014, we launched two important campaigns, both creatively developed by Fabrica, in partnership with the United Nations: “I Belong” and “End Violence Against Women Now!”
The “I Belong” campaign, in collaboration with UNHCR (the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), aims to support the UNHCR’s programme to end statelessness by 2024.
The “End Violence Against Women Now!” campaign was developed in support of UN Women (the United Nations Agency for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment) in occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25th November 2014). The campaign focused on advocating international awareness of the need for concrete actions to support women and prevention programs, beginning with efforts to promote an education for young men and women that develops a culture based on recognition, respect for difference and equal opportunities.
The key principles on which the Foundation operates are:
- The fight against hatred and non-acceptance of diversity in all its forms.
- Supporting new generations: young people are both the protagonists and beneficiaries of the projects and activities of the Foundation.
- The social impact of art in all the Foundation’s activities.
The UNHATE communication campaigns are characterised by a powerful message of support for human rights, and are intended to attract the public’s attention to promote positive actions in which everyone can become a protagonist in the fight against hatred.
In September 2012, the Foundation launched Unemployee of the Year, a global publicity campaign that addressed the issue of youth unemployment. The campaign challenges the cliché and stigma of youth unemployment by powerfully affirming faith in the creativity of younger generations around world, providing concrete support for their aspirations through the financing of 100 projects.
UNHATE News is the most recent communication campaign of the Foundation. Launched in February 2014 as a digital campaign with a strong impact, it invited young people between 18 and 30 to submit the news they would like to see. Using the “news” concept, it was possible to compare various themes – focusing in particular on gender discrimination as a cause of violence against women – and reach a varied audience. The top 10 selected news will be paired with 10 concrete social projects, selected in collaboration with UNDPI/UNAI (the United Nations Department of Public Information), in an effort to help make the hopeful news a reality.
Fabrica, founded in 1994, is Benetton Group’s communication research centre, in which a group of creative young people of various nationalities work together, and it represents another confirmation of the characteristic theme that links the local with the global in Benetton, the importance of training for a culture of innovation.
From the classical neo-Palladian villa near Treviso, innovatively restyled by Tadao Ando, in a few short years Fabrica has achieved a significant role in international cultural debate, collaborating with prestigious institutes such as the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
In occasion of Rio+20, the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development that took place in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Fabrica created Turn Your World Around, a communication project about sustainability. The idea behind Turn Your World Around is that of an Earth whose future is entirely in our hands, that dominates us yet at the same time is, for better or worse, is closely tied to our decisions, our way of living and of developing our resources.
Widely released by the United Nations and through the main social networks, the project is part of The Future We Want, a campaign launched by the United Nations to engage the public and mobilise energy and creativity around the world to envisage a sustainable future. Turn Your World Around is part of Fabrica’s long-established commitment to socially active creativity.
Local communities: territory, training and quality of life
Active and responsible attention to the needs of the community and of individuals is borne out by Ponzano Children, the children’s centre for pre-school children and babies, a state-of-the-art facility both in terms of its architectural design and its educational model, which offers a quality pedagogical service in the Treviso area.
Prominent in this context are the activities of the Fondazione Benetton Studi e Ricerche, which since 1987 has been working specifically in the area of safeguarding and promoting cultural and historical heritage. Its particular attention to the “good management of places” indicates the Group’s responsible concern for protecting the landscape and the environment.
Sport is another direct channel of communication with the community, as well as a means towards a better quality of life. Thanks to the Benetton family’s passion for sport, the Group's concerns now also include thousands of young people introduced to sporting activities each year through the youth rugby sector. There is also the sport city, La Ghirada, open to all sports enthusiasts, in addition to the Palaverde multi-purpose facilities for hosting sporting events, as well as concerts, shows and cultural occasions.