No stranger to powerful, and occasionally controversial advertising campaigns United Colors of Benetton has launched #UnitedByHalf, a campaign promoting gender equality developed in India that will be aired around the world.
This is the first time that Benetton has directly challenged social behaviors prevalent in one of its principal global markets.
The new #UnitedByHalf campaign – like #UnitedbyDonts, a campaign that rolled out across India last year – attempts to give wider voice to the social concerns driving the Women Empowerment Program and its projects. Both campaigns directly challenge social stereotypes in India around the role of women.
The new campaign launched in India on Valentine’s Day, with backing from leading voices and celebrity influencers across India, seeking to promote greater equality for women within their relationships. It launched globally on International Women’s Day (March 8th), it aims to mobilise people to think, talk and act in ways that support the empowerment of women.
These campaigns fall under Benetton’s wider Women Empowerment Program. Supporting the goal of gender equality and women empowerment, Benetton Group has identified five key priorities in accordance with the UN agenda: Sustainable livelihood, Non-discrimination and equal opportunities, Quality education, Access to healthcare and fight against violence.
Chiara Mio, who leads Benetton Group’s Sustainability program and all its Women Empowerment initiatives, said: “We’re proud to be working on direct projects to improve the lives of women in developing countries but, with a major presence in India, we want to do more. This new campaign takes our message of women empowerment directly into one of our biggest global markets, notably for menswear.”
India is Benetton’s biggest market outside Italy, and the brand is particularly popular among men, who are a key target of the new campaign, which seeks to persuade them to recognize women as equal partners and highlight the need for genuine equality.
A video launching #UnitedByHalf in India will be rolled out worldwide as part of the new campaign. It is a strong depiction of men and women as equal partners and shows women with their partners, unrestricted by social taboos still common in India and other developing markets.
Speaking about the campaign, Mr Sundeep Chugh, CEO & MD, Benetton India, said, “Women’s safety and gender equality issue has always been very close to our hearts and we promote them through the Benetton Women Empowerment Program, a long-term initiative to support women’s rights worldwide. #UnitedByHalf is not only a call for equal opportunities for women in all walks of life but it also urges men to acknowledge the other half of the country or rather the world and accept them as equal partners. We have successfully launched the first phase of the campaign and believe the campaign has touched the lives of many. We continue to build momentum on this Women’s Day and celebrate women and men as equal partners.”
Promoting gender equality and women’s safety as the priority, Benetton is executing key elements of its global sustainability roadmap, the Women Empowerment Program, a long-term Benetton Group sustainability program aimed at supporting the empowerment of women worldwide.