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RED Failure

Massive Hype for (RED) Products Yields Only $11 Million?

— February 26, 2007 — Marketing
I'm always excited to see innovative charity campaigns, and was excited to see the hype around the (RED) campaign. (RED), launched by Bono and Bobby Shriver was a campaign that could both benefit retailers and the RED charity itself. The campaign included a massive marketing push from companies like Nike, Armani, GAP, American Express, and Apple. However, after all that hype the charity has reported raising only $11 million... A figure that's certainly less that the ad budget put into the campaign.

We posted a number of cool (RED) products, but I suppose that either none of them have taken off or the cut for the charity isn't enough. Here were our top (RED) articles: iPod RED is the New White, GAP RED for the Holiday Season, Motorola RED for Chairty and American Express RED Platinum Card.

Our friend Piers Fawkes from PSFK puts it best, "all the marketing activity behind RED made you aware of the brand, not the underlying message of plight in Africa. If the combined marketing activity raised only $11 million and no one has been left better educated about African concerns, wouldn't it have been better to have just redirected the ad budget straight into the charity?"

The (RED) charity still appears to be rolling, so lets hope that by next year we can use a different title than (RED) Failure. The merger of big business and branded charities is a trend we'd certainly love to see take off.