After Kissing Campaign, Benetton Makes Up by Inspiring Unemployed Youth

'Unhate' shock tactics give way to social work

United Colors of Benetton's "Unhate" campaign with the world leaders kissing got plenty of flack, but lots of attention too—along with a Grand Prix in the Press Lions contest at Cannes. Now, the fashion client is back with a new "Unhate" initiative, and this time it puts some money where its mouth was.
     The new initiative, "Unemployee of the Year," from Fabrica and 72andSunny in Amsterdam, seeks to shine a light on a pressing social problem—the nearly 100 million young people worldwide aged 15-29 who don't have a job. The digital, film and poster campaign aims to celebrate the creativity and dignity of the world's youth—and maybe even fund projects they can work on, or even find them permanent jobs. One centerpiece is the website, where users can build a profile, upload their data and create an "un-work experience" résumé. They are also invited to submit ideas for projects that would need financing, and the community can vote on which are most worthy. On Oct. 30, 100 unemployed young people will be awarded $6,500 each to fund a project they are passionate about.
     "Benetton is a brand with a point of view: Today we call attention to the legacy that previous generations have left this one, and we reflect on the difficulties that people under 30 experience when trying to enter the job market," says Benetton's worldwide communications director, Gianluca Pastore.
     Check out some of the posters below. They may be less provocative than last year's, but perhaps they'll make a more lasting difference in the lives of the target market.