bono-oprahBono announced today the U.S. launch of (RED), the inspiring initiative that allows Americans to help fight AIDS in Africa by doing what they do best: Shopping! Famous brands like Apple will now be selling special edition products, like iPod, in RED with portions of sales going directly to help AIDS survivors in Africa.

Oprah joined Bono to shop for new RED products along Chicago’s magnificent mile. Bono will help help launch the campaign on Winfrey’s show.

Gap, Motorola, Converse, Giorgio Armani and Apple all launched an array of RED goods in the U.S. this week and will be donating up to fifty percent of profits from sales of the items. MTV has signed on as a media sponsor to help build brand awareness…

“AIDS in Africa is an emergency. When you buy a RED product, the company gives money to buy pills that will keep someone in Africa alive,” Bono said. “The idea is simple, the products are sexy, and the campaign is consumer friendly because you can help just by shopping.”

Kennedy clan member, Bobby Shriver, is the chief executive officer of (RED). “With (PRODUCT) RED, consumers can tap into the power of commerce to do something amazing and unprecedented. Our partners have created incredible products that consumers will want and need, which is the beauty of (PRODUCT) RED. We’re not asking anyone for a donation or for them to change their behavior. People buy things every day. But now, when they buy RED, they will look good and do good — and that’s good business.”

Gap is donating fifty percent of the profits from sales of their RED items, a collection of t-shirts, hoodies, jeans and accessories — 40 items — displayed in an all- RED corner of the store. One vintage-style T-shirt from the collection is being manufactured in Lesotho, Africa from 100 percent African cotton. The T- shirt is made for both women and men and will be available in red, as well as a range of other classic colors. (GNN story on RED textile maker)

Additionally, Gap is launching a powerful new advertising campaign featuring an incredible cast of celebrities photographed by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz. The campaign consists of compelling images of Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Garner, Chris Rock, Penelope Cruz, Christy Turlington, Don Cheadle, Mary J. Blige, Dakota Fanning and Apollo Ohno.

Motorola is donating $17 from each combination RED mobile phone and Bluetooth RED headset purchased, to benefit The Global AIDS Fund, which is the specific program PRODUCT RED will benefit.

The Converse (PRODUCT) RED Collection includes four exclusive, limited edition shoes designed by U.K. designer Giles Deacon, including a Chuck Taylor® All Star® Hi-top with 10 percent of net wholesale sales going directly to the Global Fund. In addition, Converse will be introducing MAKE MINE RED, a unique feature only available online offers shoppers the unique option to custom design their Chuck Taylor shoes to support the (RED) initiative.

Giorgio Armani is contributing an average of 40 percent of its gross profit margin from sales of its RED clothing and accessory line.

And, today Apple introduced its (PRODUCT) RED iPod nano Special Edition in a beautiful red aluminum enclosure. Apple will contribute $10 from the sale of each iPod nano sold and will also offer a $25 iTunes (PRODUCT) RED gift card for purchase at Apple’s retail and online stores next month. Apple sales alone are expected to raise millions of dollars for the campaign that has already contributed multiple millions to the Global Fund initiative.

The (PRODUCT) RED collections are designed to be compelling parts of the brands’ overall offerings and are not priced at a premium, making it easy for consumers to choose (RED) over non-(RED) items. RED products and services, like American Express cards, were launched in the UK earlier in 2006. (See May 17 GNN story on RED activity in UK)

For more information about (RED) please visit

Leave a Reply