Shock Advertising

Topics: Advertising, Benetton Group, Oliviero Toscani Pages: 82 (13562 words) Published: October 28, 2014

Benetton’s Shock Therapy
A case study of the company which employed
Shock Advertising

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement
for the award of the degree of

B.A. (H) Journalism

Submitted by

Under the guidance of

Dr. A. K. Thakur

Sinchita Majumdar
B.A.(H) Journalism, 3rd Year,
Maharaja Agrasen College

Asst. Professor,
Dept of Journalism and
Mass Communication,

Roll No. 11/781

University of Delhi

Session 2013-2014

Vasundhra Enclave, Delhi

A case study of the company which employed
Shock Advertising

Submitted by:
Sinchita Majumdar
B.A.(Hons.) Journalism, 3rd year
Maharaja Agrasen College
University of Delhi


I would like to express my sincere acknowledgement in the support and help of my mentor Dr. A. K. Thakur for his wise ideas throughout this project. His continuous supervision and guidance helped me to achieve the objectives and aims of my research. I will also take this opportunity to acknowledge my parents, Dr. Samir Majumdar & Mrs. Sharmistha Majumdar and my aunt and uncle, Mrs. Prantika Das and Dr. Rahul Das, whose constant support and co-operation helped me in the successful completion of this project. I would also like to extend my gratitude to my brother Utkarsh Das and my very special and close friends – Barkha Sethi, Ishant Chaudhary, Mridul Saxena, Shashank Nair, Ajay Jain and Ankita Chakraborty. Without their encouragement, enthusiasm, help and support, this project wouldn’t have been possible.

Special gratitude for Sir Vinay Rai , Ma’am Sonika Jain and Sir S. K. Rinten for their help and guidance throughout the project.

Thank you.



This is to certify that the work titled - ‘Benetton’s Shock Therapy A case study of the company which employed Shock Advertising' submitted by 'Sinchita Majumdar' (11/781) in partial fulfilment of the award of B.A. (Hons.) Journalism is an original work and has not been submitted by any other University or Institute for the award of any other degree or diploma. The work has been carried out under my supervision and has been done without any unfair means.

Signature of the Mentor

Signature of the Student

Dr. A.K. Thakur

Sinchita Majumdar

Asst. Professor

Roll no: 11/781

Maharaja Agrasen College

B.A. (H) Journalism

University of Delhi

Maharaja Agrasen College
University of Delhi



I, Sinchita Majumdar, a student of B.A.(Hons.) Journalism 3rd year, hereby declare that I have completed this project titled ‘Benetton’s Shock Therapy’ under the supervision of Professor, Dr. A.K. Thakur.

The work undertaken and presented is my original and has not been produced elsewhere to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Sinchita Majumdar
B.A.(Hons.) Journalism, 3rd year


In 1990’s a few companies produced advertisements that carried explicit social and political messages. Pioneering this move was the European clothing company whose “shock advertising” style was soon adopted by other companies including Diesel, FCUK, and the Body Shop. While some praised these companies for addressing important issues, others condemned them for exploiting social and political issues.

In this paper, we shall study the case of the World’s largest clothing company, “The United Colors of Benetton” and its “Institutional Campaigns.” These advertisements aim at publishing the entire company rather than one range of clothing. This study explores the implications of Benetton’s shock advertising for advertising language, the functions of advertising, and the notion of consumer-citizen. This research reviews the paradoxes that Benetton introduced into the discourse of advertising through extensive subjective and objective surveys on consumers and viewers.



Advertising is all about selling a...

Bibliography: Rita C. Hubbard, Shock Advertising : The Benetton Case , (2000)
New York, Benetton Services Corporation, Fall/Winter Advertising Campaign, (1992)
New York, Benetton Services Corporation, Spring/Summer Advertising Campaign,
Squires, C
Rice, S. (2000). Introduction: death row. Benetton Company Brochure.
Giroux, H. (1994). Disturbing pleasures: learning popular culture. New York: Routledge.
Giroux, H., & McLaren, P. (1991). Leon Golub‟s radical pessimism: toward a
pedagogy of representation.
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