Benetton has always been a pioneer in marketing and advertising, pushing the boundaries on taste and causing controversy with many of their advertisements. The former creative director Toscani is famously known for making the brand into the controversial and cutting-edge company which it is today, he ended up leaving the company in 2000 after he overstepped the mark by using American death row inmates in one of the campaigns. ‘It’s not hard to conclude that, without Toscani at the helm, Benetton’s corporate image is a shadow of what it once was’ was a verdict of the situation by Creative Review in 2006.
Their latest campaign, Its’ My Time, is a ‘global casting’ open to anybody over the age of 14 years old and without a modelling contract. ‘The new campaign offers young people around the world a means of sharing their opinions, as well as a “place” to be noticed and a dream to aspire to. Through the open culture of social media, the blogosphere and citizen journalism, it promotes a radical freedom, enabling them to make the leap from objects to subjects. From 8 February to 16 March 2010, the young people taking part in Benetton’s global casting session will be voted by the web community. The 100 finalists will then be evaluated by a specially-formed jury of experts, who will choose 20 finalists to fly to New York and feature in United Colors of Benetton’s advertising campaign for autumn-winter 2010/2011, under the lens and creative guidance of British photographer Josh Olins’ – It’s My Time Press Release.
A selection of the 100 finalists: