WORK: #UnitedByHalf Benetton’s gender equality campaign

#UnitedByHalf is a campaign from United Colors of Benetton that advocates gender equality. The campaign was launched in India last month but is now being rolled out internationally on social media. It features Indian women claiming what is rightfully theirs – not world domination, just equal access to opportunities, jobs, education, sport and so on.

The campaign is important within India on two levels. What the Western audience may not notice is that the ad represents a spectrum of regional ethnicities, including some often-marginalised groups, which is quite rare in Indian advertising. The spot also features scenes that will raise eyebrows in the conservative Indian context. You don’t often see a woman changing a tyre or initiating a sexual encounter on Indian telly, but these are portrayed with a certain mundanity in the ad – which is, presumably, the point.

#UnitedByHalf print ad

In the global context this is the first time a Benetton ad created outside of Europe is being pushed to a global audience, even if only via social media. The movement of ad campaigns running in India has traditionally been in the other direction, with those originating in the West typically being aired in India without much local adaptation. Benetton’s attempt at moving a piece of creative, made in India by Indians, to the global market is significant. While how successfully the ad travels through the Western world remains to be seen just the attempt may be indicative of change, underpinned by the Indian market’s strategic importance to Benetton.

Agency: Creativeland Asia

Production: Oink Films