Perhaps in another universe during a different time Barack Obama could kiss Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan counterpart of Obama. However back in the real world photoshopped pictures of them doing exactly that as part of Unhate’s campaign has caused uproar but also praise from the Cannes Ad Festival.
It’s not just these two leaders kissing that have blessed our eyes, other images include the Pope and al-Tayeb, former president of Egypt, Merkel and Sarkozy, Kim Jong-Il and lee myung-bak and a few others, have been photoshopped to the same effect. Alessandro Benetton who was at the forefront of this campaign explained that it was meant “to give widespread visibility to an ideal notion of tolerance and invite citizens of every country to reflect on how hatred arises particularly from fear of ‘the other’ and of what is unfamiliar to us”.
Quite a strong message especially in times of unrest and disruption in many countries. An opinion also agreed by the prestigious Cannes Ad Festival who gave the campaign the Press Grand Prix award. A member of the judging jury added “It cuts through all cultures, nationalities, faith even. It has heart impact and gut impact and promotes a global debate.” This isn’t the first time either as Benetton’s Fabrica Treviso and MDC Partners’ 72andSunny also received recognition at One Show previously. However, this opinion, surprisingly, isn’t a unanimous one and has caused controversy amongst many.
The image depicting Pope Benedict XVI and the Egyptian imam- had to be withdrawn from the campaign after it was condemned by the Vatican. Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, argued that “It is a serious lack of respect for the pope, an affront to the feelings of the faithful and an evident demonstration of how, in the field of advertising, the most elemental rules of respect for others can be broken in order to attract attention by provocation”.
The White House were also critical in the use of the president’s face in the campaign for commercial purposes, but this image wasn’t pulled from the campaign. Considering the range of leaders from across the globe this campaign has been able to reach an audience around the world and allowed many people to understand their message. To conclude there is a lot of questionable factors about this campaign from the people depicted to some of the kissing faces, looking at you Mr. Sarkozy, but what isn’t questionable is the campaigns message of love and unity amongst everyone.