Now It Can Be Revealed: The Secret Obama Romance

Posted by on Nov 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Uh, WTF is this?

From the folks who brought us the controversial image in the 1990s of a priest and a nun in a lip-lock comes an even more explosive one that pushes the boundaries of advertising and communication: US President Barack Obama and China’s supreme leader Hu Jintao kissing each other flush on the lips.

The jolting, jaw-dropping picture, which is being released all over the world, is part of Benetton’s “Unhate” campaign launched in Paris on Wednesday. It’s one of a series of six images showing world leaders, including Obama and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, France’s Nicholas Sarkozy and Germany’s Angela Merkel, and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestine’s Mahmoud Abbas, in a mouth-to-mouth kiss. One photo features the Pope in a lip-lock with Ahmed al-Tayeb, Sheikh of the Al-Azzhar mosque.

Obviously photo-shopped and digitally-manufactured, the images are certain to stun and perhaps outrage the world, a fact that the edgy Italian company is looking forward with both anticipation and apprehension. The company did not seek or obtain permission from any of the leaders featured in the series, but ran the campaign by its lawyers, who returned a “murky” verdict about possible legal consequences, Benetton officials said, citing the companyas presence in 120 countries with differing laws.

Via the Puffhost, via Slu.

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4 Responses to “Now It Can Be Revealed: The Secret Obama Romance”

  1. Jim Hlavac on 16/16/11 at 5:52 pm

    This is known in capitalism as “trying to get free advertising” (look, it’s working already, and you won’t be the only ones, I’m sure,) and leverage a say, $1 million dollar ad budget into say, $20 million in free publicity courtesy of the news media. If I were you I’d send a bill to the company for the ad space :)

    It’s been done before. An Italian ice cream maker, with barely a budget, merely made one print ad of two priests in loosely amorous embrace and got it accepted by one or two newspapers — the resultant outcry got more media attention than any ad campaign could ever have — and thus boosted the sales of the ice cream. Those who scream “boycott” wouldn’t have bought it anyway, but added to the advertising effect as um, useful fools, and brought it to the attention of those who would otherwise never have been reached.

    And so Benetton’s campaign has nothing to do with “unhate” but that message resonates with typical Benetton consumers; who will now be pleased with the company. So the boycotters, and outraged will, by screaming and saying WTF? unwittingly add to Benetton’s bottom line too.

    But man, Hugo and Barrack kissing, blah. Even this gay guy finds that repulsive.

  2. Jim Hlavac on 16/16/11 at 7:02 pm

    Update to my comment — after I left this blog I went to a place called “Queerty” which is a gay news site (oh, don’t worry, safe for heteros, should you seek it out, and I lambaste those people with my Tea Party values, I assure you,) — and lo, what did I find? The same story (they used the Hu picture, rather than the Hugo picture, you go figure why.)

    And so Benetton got two news sites that would otherwise never have mentioned Benetton, (and which are so separate that Jammie and Queerty are like apples and rocks, never mind oranges,) and on which Benetton never would have spent a dime in advertising on, ergo, leveraging their dollars, aka, Capitalism. See, it’s very simple — create controversy, earn millions — and don’t spend but a small bit of money, to reap millions in free promotion.

    Not so strangely, you point to two sources where you got the story — which are completely different than the two sources Queerty sourced — ergo, six websites are now “covering” the story — and six sites which are so different as to reach such different people that it’s water and oil. How many others? Next HuffPost and National Review I’m sure. Benetton was genius!

    (Different, except, well, for me — I think I’m the only gay guy to go both to gay sites [where there’s just as much bashing of Obama as here, and not just by me — the number of gay Tea Party people, Sissies for Sarah as I call us, would knock your socks off,] and hetero Tea Party sites, I should get an award for “diversity” already, ya’ think?)

    Hell, you know who wins the “Liberal” “diversity” award? Bruce Harris, the gay black tea party Republican mayor of 99.8% white Chatham Borough, New Jersey — which no tea party/Republican or liberal Democrat/gay website will touch with a ten foot pole. OH well, have a pleasant evening, enjoy the conundrums of our times.

  3. Beckgal on 16/16/11 at 7:03 pm

    Love the new format! This blog is one of my absolute musts each day. I especially love the coverage of the “occupiers”- always good for a laugh!