Marketing Philanthropy: (RED)’s Strategy to Success

It’s been a while since I’ve posted to this blog, and so, I wanted to return with something a bit more lighthearted. I recently came across a commercial for (RED), the worldwide organization dedicated to eradicating AIDS. And since this website is dedicated to promoting philanthropic and charitable efforts and organizations, I figured I could do a light analysis of the commercial.

Firstly, I would like to point out that the video is almost two years old, and that it is based around the holiday season. Regardless of its age, it is still a clever video.

As for the video itself, it begins with Barry Manilow answering a phone call from Jimmy Kimmel. It is no surprise that commercials use celebrities as spokespeople, however, (RED) is famous for its specific use of celebrities in almost all of its ad campaigns. It is clear that this commercial is aiming for a comedic theme as Barry Manilow, legendary singer and songwriter, answers the phone by stating his record of writing songs that, “make the whole world sing.” Kimmel, confused by Manilow’s answer, pushes forward with the call, asking for Manilow’s assistance in writing a jingle for (RED)’s Holiday Shopathon, to which Manilow obliges. As Manilow goes to write the song, it cuts to actress Scarlett Johansson singing the jingle that Manilow has created. Johansson, wearing a (RED)-branded t-shirt, dances and sings the jingle in tandem with Manilow. The jingle’s lyrics invite shoppers to purchase (RED) products in order to help stop AIDS. Fitting in with the comedic tone of the video, Johansson’s gestures are all exaggerated and cartoonish, and once the song is finished, Johansson breaks the fourth wall by asking the camera crew who wrote the song. It’s an incredibly catchy song and a very clever video that entices viewers to purchase products during the holidays through (RED).

If the (RED) brand name sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve written about it before in a previous blog. You’ve also probably purchased or seen Product (RED) items before. The organization, co-founded by U2 frontman Bono, partners with large, worldwide brands to create Product (RED) goods and services for purchase. Up to 50% of the proceeds then go to fighting (AIDS) around the world.

Through the use of catchy songwriting, self-awareness and a light hearted tone, the (RED) Shopathon commercial is memorable and important. And (RED)-branded items are not solely sold during the holiday season; there are Product (RED) goods sold year round through various companies and brands, including Apple, Coca-Cola and Starbucks.

AIDS is a terrible disease that has afflicted millions throughout the world; by purchasing (RED)-branded items, you can easily and affordably help make a difference.

How the Cloud is Helping In the Fight Against AIDS

Most people view the Cloud as a mysterious entity that knows all, but nobody can truly understand. Several tech companies (like Google, Apple and Microsoft) all have their own version of the Cloud. And while the Cloud may be a bit confusing to many (and incredibly complex), it is actually being used for a tremendous cause: the fight against AIDS.

Since its discovery in 1981, AIDS has affected 1.2 million U.S. citizens, 18,000 of which were diagnosed just last year. It is an extremely sensitive and serious issue that has claimed the lives of an estimated 35 million people worldwide since its discovery.

One of the world’s leading organizations dead set on fighting to end AIDS is (RED). In a recent report from Fox Business, Deb Dugan, CEO of (RED), mentioned that she believes that the Cloud can be used with great effect in their efforts, saying, “the Cloud has made us smarter and more efficient. It’s a game changer.” The Cloud’s biggest contribution is its ability to pinpoint exactly where companies like (RED) are most effective. What’s most impressive is that it manages to do this in real time, giving extremely accurate and up-to-date statistics. Another one of the Cloud’s features is that it simplifies the process of delivering and storing documents and files, allowing for easy access to important information.

Founded in 2006 by U2 lead singer Bono and philanthropist Bobby Shriver, (RED) is dedicated to eradicating AIDS in Africa. To this day, (RED) has earned over $360 million dollars for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.

After the Cloud-based customer relationship management software company Salesforce helped to install the Cloud-based programs that (RED) currently uses, (RED) is now able to seamlessly manage several aspects of their organization with ease. Some of the services provided through (RED)’s Cloud software include: analytics, sales and marketing.

The implementation of the Cloud in (RED)’s services has impacted the company tremendously. By using the Cloud, staff at (RED) can now access information at any time, in any place, giving them much more freedom of travel. They can also share their real time statistics with their large corporate partners, in order to show them just how important their work is in places that need it.

(RED) is also very active on social media, and has used the Cloud to their benefit. “We use the marketing cloud loudly and feverishly,” says Dugan. “We want to deepen our relationships and reach our engaged community and share information.”

With the rapid acceptance of technology and Cloud computing, (RED) is hoping to end mother-child transmission of AIDS by 2020, and to completely eradicate the syndrome by 2030.

If you are interested in helping stop AIDS in Africa, visit (RED)’s website by clicking here and donating.