Seeing red over (RED)

Jason Kottke writes a very nice and succinct critique of some cause branding efforts. It’s especially timely given that the Red sponsors have spent $100M on marketing but turned over only $18M (soon to be $25M) to the (RED) foundation for fighting AIDS in Africa.

“It seems to me that if The Gap really cared about stopping HIV/AIDS in Africa, they would just donate the $7.8 million they spend on (RED) advertising to the Clinton Foundation. If Discover really cared about saving you money, they’d lower their APR to prime + 1.

I realize that the entire US economy is a house of cards kept standing by the escalation of spending and credit card debt by American consumers, but the sad fact is that to save money, you need to cut spending or increase income. And if you really want to help fight AIDS in Africa, instead of buying that (RED) Gap t-shirt for which Gap will donate 50% of its profit to The Global Fund, buy a cheaper one at American Apparel and send the $13 difference to the Global Fund yourself.”

I am curious if there has been any collateral increase in donations to this and other related charities since the campaign began. That would tell us much more about the success or stupidity of this effort.

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