Do the (RED) Thing

By claire |


I planned on blogging today about brainstorm execution and how to take the ideas created in a brainstorm and put them into action. But, as I was going about my research I came across something that captured my attention and truly touched my heart: an open letter from Bono regarding his PRODUCT(RED) campaign published in the latest issue of “Elle” magazine.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar, The PRODUCT(RED) campaign is a cause marketing business model that takes a portion of the proceeds from each sale of a (RED) branded item and contributes to the Global Fund. The Global Fund is an organization that is on the frontline of the battle against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing countries (primarily in Africa). The Global Fun combats these diseases with community development initiatives. In order to receive aid from the Global Fund, the community must not only demonstrate need, but also a results-driven approach to solving problems within the community. In order to maintain assistance (as grants are given on an annual basis), the community must demonstrate that their model is effectively solving these problems and that Global Fund resources are crucial to the sustainability of their project.


(RED) outlines their business model by using a problem-solution method. Basically, the problem is AIDS in Africa and the lack of resources to educate those at risk and to treat those who have already contracted the disease. The solution lies in our hands, and in our wallets. By purchasing (RED) branded products we are actually making a difference by placing antiretroviral medication (ARV), the lifeline of HIV patients, into the hands of those living with HIV in Africa for about forty cents a day (per patient). Doctors have titled the complete turnaround due to these ARV’s the Lazarus Effect, since the patients often close to death have been given new life.

However, as consumers and good samaritans, we often want to see tangible results or impact of our good deeds. The minds behind PRODUCT(RED) have thought of that and have placed both results pages and success stories on their website.

One of the major setbacks of cause marketing in general is that is requires a lot of trust on the part of the consumer. Consumers must believe that their money is being used responsibly and, unfortunately, every now and then a scandal will come along that will waver our trust in the motivations of these companies. Well, (RED) has solved that problem by explaining on their website the ways in which our money helps those who need it most.

By partnering with well-established brands such as Gap, American Express, Apple, and Starbucks, consumers are able to purchase their favorite products while making a positive contribution to an incredible cause. As father and founder of (RED) and lead singer of U2 Bono says in his Elle magazine letter, times are tight and giving is hard. But, by purchasing the (RED) brand of your favorite products, you can enjoy your favorite items and truly make a positive impact by “doing the (RED) thing.”

To learn more about how you can help, visit: www.joinred.com

Check out these powerful Global Fund photo essays from countries ravaged by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria at:
http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/accesstolife/

Images provided by: www.joinred.com

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