The main idea of the article “About Face” by Leigh Gallagher is to dwell upon Benetton Group and the problems it has recently faced. The article under analysis dwells upon the history of Benetton Group in the USA in a very short and concise manner, starting with the company’s success in 1980s and1990s and finishing with the devastating failure in sales in 2000. The article was written in 2000, so the problems discussed there were urgent and up-to-date for that time. The sales of the Benetton brand were high, but after the controversial and sometimes even shocking ad campaigns of the company under AIDS and death penalty titles took place, the sales of the brand reduced dramatically. At the end, the article focused on normal and absolutely ordinary ads of the Benetton brand as one of the attempts to increase the sales of the sportswear in the USA.
Speaking about the particular issues, which went wrong, it is important to analyze the points in detail. The sales have reduced in the USA only, while in Great Britain and in Europe the sales remained on the same level. One of the reasons explained by the author of the article is the failure of the Benetton brand to adjust to the US culture. The vision of the US youth, who are intended to buy the brand’s clothes, is different from considerations of European and GB youths. Having created the AIDS and death row advertising campaigns, the company did not cogitate the reaction. Therefore, it is possible to say that the Social Judgment Theory was violated. The issues of AIDS and death penalty are very serious for the US people, and they considered it unethical to try to sell clothes basing on such principles. Thus, these were very serious barriers on the way to the company’s success in the USA. It can also be predicted that the Balance Theory was involved in this particular case. People in the USA may have different attitude to death penalty and the desire of the company to show before the final punishment that all these people have the human face, and just failed in their lives due to some grievous crime. Those who support such means of punishment would not like to choose the Benetton’s clothing because they do not want to support imprisoned. Those who do not support death penalty might also refuse because they consider such ads offensive.
Benetton should totally reconsider its representation in the USA. The company must pay attention to ethical and moral principles of the country before trying to implement a new advertising campaign there. The company must refer to attitude-change strategies, paying close attention to the particular values in the USA. The change of the US people attitude to the Benetton brand will result into the increase of the sales. The company should conduct a thorough research in order to define US population values and create a separate campaign for this region. The USA is a specific country in terms of ethics and morale, and the companies must pay attention to this aspect. The development of the particular US-directed advertising campaign can be a good investment into the future income. A correctly created advertising campaign may help Benetton Group return to the USA ahead of the curve. The company has already made the necessary steps having created a simple, normal and ordinary advertising. Such simple message about the sportswear the company has delivered can be a good step on the way to high revenue in the USA. Similar game plan came about with the United Colors of Benetton, when the brand just entered the US market with an innocent advertising campaign and managed to succeed.
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