Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day 2009: One Color Unites Us

In honor of World AIDS Day (December 1), I wanted to commend (RED) for their great branding strategies and ability to engage with the public through social media, advertising, and, most importantly, brand partnerships.

As most of you know, (RED) has combined forces with retail giants Starbucks, Dell and Gap (to name a few - see a complete list here) to create more awareness of AIDS/HIV in Africa (and consequently, it has spread to help those throughout the world). (RED) recently announced their newest partnership with shoe retailer extraordinnaire, Nike.

As most Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising students can tell you, the first thing they learn is that cause branding is a huge way to make an impact, as well as give your company the attention they need - without throwing advertisements in consumer's faces.

Today, on World AIDS Day, many different companies are working with (RED) to make sure we, the public, know about this day of knowledge and protection.

On Twitter posts, you can put the terms "#red" or "#laceupsavelives" and your tweets will show up in the color red.

On Facebook, the (RED) site gives fans a list of things they can each do to show their support and to help fight AIDS, such as purchasing Nike's red laces, posting a video on the Lazarus Effect (below) or change your profile picture to something red (they have a few choices).

Starbucks is offering 5 cents for every beverage made and purchased; Gap is offering 1 percent of all its revenues from US and Canada; and Dell is doubling its contributions until Dec. 2.

Not only does this increase sales for these (RED) partners, but it shows they are willing to give back and gives each a good name (at least for one day). And, I bet, the next time you are out shopping, and notice the (RED) logo, you'll think twice about purchasing something else.

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