This is my first “important” presentation in English. I’ve been prepared it thoroughly because an important part of my mark in English Bussiness class depends on it. The topic I chose was “Advertising” (there were other to choose, but I prefered this one). Maybe there are a few mistakes (I hope only a few) into the text, so if you see them, please, left a comment to make me know and change it. Thanks!
Hello everyone, my name is Patricia and I’m going to talk about advertising, specifically, about, in my opinion, one of the most controversial advertiser of the last three decades: Oliviero Toscani.
I’ve divided my presentation into three parts. Fist at all, I will make a brief tour of the main milestones that have taken place throughout history for the development of advertising. Then, I will introduce you Oliviero Toscani and his work. And finally, I will give you some reflexions that advertisers made on advertising.
Part 1: History
Let’s start. The firts way to advertise was the voice. For instance, in the street markets the noisier place, the more crowded is. The Egipcians knew it and was the firts to use that technique. It’s impossible to have evidences of this, but we have another clue that shows us that the Egipcians were the firts people who advertised products. I’m talking about the Papyrus of Shem which it’s considerated the oldest writting advertisement on the history. It was wrote 5.000 years ago. In it we can read the story of Hapu an egiptian weaver of Tebas who lost a slave and wanted to find him ofering a reward to the person who helps to. In the papyrus the weaver described the slave and included a reference to his shop and praised the clothes he sold there.
One of the most remarcable milestones for the advertising was the birth of Gutemberg’s printting press. In this period of the history, the comercial routes helped to increase the importance and influence of advertisements into the bussiness deals. Moreover, the advertising was expanded to other social areas like politics.
With the invention of the radio by Marconi, the cinema by the Lumiers both in the same year, 1895; and the TV in the early twentieth century, the advertising gained momentum that culminated with the expansion of Internet. At the begginings of the last century, people used to watch less than 1000 advertisments per day. Nowadays, we watch more than 5000 per day. That’s because there are brands and logos everywhere and we are, also, a walking advertisement because, for example, clothes has logos.
Part 2: Controversial advertisers
The advertisers whit their advertisments tries to convince us to buy or to do something. For it, they catch our attention with the most sofisticated technique based on psycology. Now, the advertisers are following a tendence that involves using new sites to place their ads. Here there are some examples: a bridge, a subway car, a windscreen, a sewer, a bench… everywhere.
However, there is a person who catched our attencion during almost three decades only using a fotography. It is Oliviero Toscani. Maybe you don’t recognais his name, but if I show you that ad, you quickly know him.
Oliviero Toscani was born in Milan, Italy, in 1942. Toscani is a photographer and advertising director who worked for the most important fashion companies like Valentino or Chanel. But his work is recognais by the campaigns that he did in Benetton during 18 years. In his advertisements, he use only a photography and the logo of the brand to catch our attentions. The main topic of his campaigns are: AIDS, racism, war, religion, anorexia, homosexuality, hunger, poverty, death penalty… For his work, he received a lot of awards including UNESCO Grand Prix, Grand Prix d’Affichange (twice) and Lion d’Or of Cannes Advertising Festival (four times). In 2006 he tried to start his political career putting himself forward for the italian parliment whitout sucess. Now he is involved in a new comunication project, called “La Sterpia” (“The Factory” in English) doing investigations and research on comunications.
Toscani started his controversial career in Benetton. In 1989 appeared the first ad for the brand made by Toscani. It cause a shock in the society of the time. It was breaking. The ad was called “Black woman breastfeeding white baby”. There were people who thought that he tried to defend the slavery instead of shown the equality of races. The second ad, was launched the same year, after the first as an answer for the critics that received the one. Toscani tried to explain with a picture that everybody are slaves to someone, including ourselves.
Three years late, in 1992, Oliviero Toscani launched the most controversial advertisment that he made for Benetton. In it we can see an AIDS patient about to die, surrounded by his family. Moreover that the topic, the controversial also was that the photography resembles the sculpture by Michelangelo, The Pietà. That wasn’t neither the first nor the last time that Toscani used the AIDS as a subject for his work.
Finally, that’s the last campaign by Toscani in Benetton. It shows a prisioner into the death row. Under the logo we can read information about him. That was the last campaign in Benetton for Toscani because the fashion company lost an important costumer in the USA because of the campaign and Toscani was fired.
What was and is always the objective of Toscani? He tries to show us that there are a lot of social inequalities, there are an other reality that we wan’t to perceive. He tries to open our mind to confront it and try to change it. He want’s to create a reaction into the audience. He tries to say, also, that all the cultures have the same value and diversity is positive.
Part 3: Reflexions
To conclude with my presentation, I want to give you some reflexions that famous advertiser did. The first one is from Will Rogers: “Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money that they haven’t into things that they don’t need”. The second one is from Will Bernbach who thinks that advertising is more than selling products, it tries to chance our mind. The last one is from Jeff Goodby who defined the advertising as an art in the service of capitalism.
Thats all. Thanks for your attention. If you have any questions, I’ll try to answer it now.