(Product) Red

Harvard Business School



Case Study Sector

Describes the launch and initial results of the (PRODUCT) RED campaign, a social marketing initiative conceived of by U2's Bono and Bobby Shriver to combat AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. The company licensed the (RED) brand to partner companies, which initially included Gap, Apple, Motorola, Armani, and American Express. The business model was structured to benefit partner companies by increasing consumer purchases—of (RED)-branded products such as red iPods and phones—while also resulting in increased donations to the Global Fund.
Learning objective: First, the case focuses on how to create, promote, and manage a brand over time. Second, the case focuses on managing a novel social marketing campaign, in which consumer purchases benefit not just recipients of donations, but also (RED)'s partner companies. Finally, the case integrates these two topics, exploring brand management when sustainability is crucial not just for the success of the company but for saving lives.



  • Field Building
  • Strategy


  • Africa

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