On March 24, Apple launched a limited edition Red iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED in partnership with the (RED) charity company. Only available in 128 or 256GB, a portion of the sales of each iPhone (RED) will go to the Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS programs and help to handle operations of counselling, testing and treating AIDS in Africa. Apple also includes in this offer a wide choice of red accessories, wireless headphones, iWatch and various iPad and phone cases.
The (RED) campaign is a 10-year-old partnership between Apple and the company founded by U2’s member Bono. The oldest Apple addicts would remember the first red iPod Nano dedicated to the HIV-fighting campaign in 2006.
As usual, the brand gets straight to the point to push consumers to buy its products with a catchy yet slightly pretentious assertion: “Buy (RED). Give life”. The brand knows how to use words that echo our altruism. “Your support can mean fewer babies are born with HIV every day”. But Apple can justifiably brag about being the largest single contributor to the Global Fund of (RED) company, as it has already donated US$130 million out of the US$465 million raised since the creation of the Fund in 2006. The money is used to finance help programs in 8 sub-Saharan countries and has already impacted 90 million lives. (RED) especially focuses its action on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. Besides raising awareness and supporting mothers infected by HIV, the company aims to reduce to zero the number of babies who are born with the disease every day, which comes to 400 today.
Same price, same design, the only difference with the iPhone 7 released last September is the colour, a deep matt red and the pleasant feeling perfectly orchestrated by the brand’s marketing strategy, that we are contributing to improving the world for the new AIDS-free generation.
For those who can’t afford a new nearly-1000-dollar phone but want to contribute to the good cause, (RED) is also partnered with other brands such as Beats, Gap, Vespa, Dyson, Fatboy or Coca-Cola, which offer a bunch of limited-edition red products to support the initiative. Up to 50% of profits from the sales will go directly to the Global Fund. From a pair of socks to a scooter or an iPhone, the wide operation is a great and subtle mix between mass consumption and charity, or how to free consumers from guilt, to spend hundreds of dollars on the latest trending products.
Writer : Lucie Jung
Editor: Harriet Lai
Copy Editor: Zoe Law