Red campaign in the red

Numbers swirling around the (Product)Red campaign to benefit The Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa say the marketing expenditure was huge (AdAge...

Numbers swirling around the (Product)Red campaign to benefit The Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa say the marketing expenditure was huge (AdAge says $100 million) but the funds raised have been relatively meager (the same article says $18 million). The campaign had celebrities, red iPods, and red Amex credit cards among its promotional arsenal.

The VP for Red’s marketing campaign, Julie Cordua, is optimistic, saying the amount raised is higher and continues to flow in, but the numbers do seem a little flimsy given the star power and the exposure of the campaign. While I haven’t seen as much about the Motorola phone or the credit card, I’ve seen tons of ads everywhere for the Gap line of Red products, featuring Penelope Cruz, Chris Rock, Christy Turlington, and a slew of other celebrities.

There’s also been a well-publicized slump in sales at the clothing retailer. Just yesterday, this story also appeared in Ad Age, talking about all of the changes that the company would like to institute to turn things around in ’07. Unfortunately, a downturn for the company may have led to the poor Red results. Since this is a campaign that is dependent just as much on consumerism as it is on goodwill, a brand that appeals to the public more probably would’ve produced better results.

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