I recently returned from my honeymoon to France, Italy and Great Britain. In several of the cities we visited, I noticed United Colors of Benetton had “clothes for humans” splashed across their windows. The message was inclusive and inviting, a welcome change at a time when we are seemingly becoming more and more divided. With three simple words — “clothes for humans” — United Colors of Benetton stood out for its directness.
The campaign, which launched mid-summer, was uniquely intentional. Its straightforward messaging strategy resonated with me because I was in Europe just as the tumultuous U.S. presidential election ended. The months of divisive commentary, from all sides, was draining and this powerful message restored some of my faith in the world. I couldn’t help but think “clothes for humans” was a perfect summation of what consumers are looking for — positivity, sincerity. And that got me thinking; what made this campaign so exceptional and powerful?
Not every brand can do what United Colors of Benetton has done, I get that. But I hope other brands will be inspired by their directness to yield more powerful work. Benetton has always forged their own path, carved their own destiny and with “clothes for humans” may very well cultivate the future of retail.