HIV AIDS had been in the news for decades. It was a human crisis on a huge scale, and though infection rates continued to rise in Africa, financial support was dwindling.

Activists Bobby Shriver and Bono wanted to harness the power of the world’s biggest retailers. They wanted to make giving effortless for consumers, generate profits and a sense of purpose for partner companies, and create sustainable income for the Global Fund.

“Wolff Olins helped to take (RED) from an idea on a napkin to a tangible, visceral vision”

Bobby Shriver, Founder, (RED)
Painting a vision
The first challenge was to get partners on board by painting a vision for the brand. We developed a platform that united participating businesses by multiplying their logos to the power of (RED).
We imagined the experiences partners might create – from everyday consumables to hero products that would build the African connection and attract attention. They had to be a little brighter and better than their everyday counterparts.
On the road
Joining Bobby and Bono, we presented our vision to Amex, Converse, Emporio Armani, Motorola, and Gap. Partners signed up quickly, drawn by the connection to a purpose beyond profit. We introduced each new team to the strategy and collaborated on product design. Some committed to manufacturing in African countries, generating local opportunities.

Sustainable impact
Bono launched (RED) at the World Economic Forum in January ‘06 to great effect, capturing the attention of consumers and business leaders alike.

Within five weeks of the US launch, the (RED) brand had registered 30% unaided awareness. Immediately after its UK launch, Amex saw an immediate lift in brand perception with younger customers. GAP saw a major improvement in employee engagement, and their INSPI(RED) T-shirt became a bestseller.

Through improved global awareness and an expanding list of iconic partners – now including Apple and Starbucks – (RED) provides a reliable flow of money to the Global Fund.

It continues to exceed its goals, recently passing $200 million in raised and donated funds. More than 14 million people have been reached with preventative services and believes an AIDS-free generation is possible.