Friday was World AIDS day. I was thinking how my oldest nephew Evan, who is a freshman in college, has never lived in a world without AIDS. [oops - correction courtesy of my Dad - Evan's a sophomore!] We always make those comparisons with 8-tracks vs cassettes vs CDs, etc, but it kind of struck me when I thought of it that way. It seems a shame that once we found ways to manage it, we stopped caring about it.
In October, Bono and Bobby Shriver launched a fund raising campaign in the US that had launched overseas in March. I must admit that I had a hard time understanding it. At first, I thought it was a GAP ad campaign. It turns out its actually an ongoing and expanding marketing plan - for any product. Instead of donations in return for a ribbon or a plastic bracelet for a limited campaign, products choose to become a part of (RED) on an ongoing basis - you buy a participating product and the product gives a portion to The Global Fund.
As an umbrella campaign, the design by Wolff Olins is brilliant. The use of one color and one graphic device, the parentheses ("the embrace"), allows virtually any brand logo to seamlessly work with the campaign, not fight it. And the added use of wit to extoll core values like admi(red), cultu(red), and sha(red) is, well, inspi(red). Where the campaign fails is in explaining what it is - I can only assume this is intentional with the hope or expectation that people will make the effort to find out. We can only hope.