You’re probably familiar with the (RED) brand, or at least have seen it at the Gap or at Starbucks. It’s a simple business model, devised by Bono and and ONE/DATA founder Bobby Shriver where products people already buy are turned “(RED)”, and when someone buys a (RED) version of that product, a portion of it goes to provide medicine for people with AIDS in Africa. The model has been both praised and derided for making philanthropy cold and numerical. Having raised over $130 million for The Global Fund via sales of iPods, Dell Computers, clothing from The Gap and more, the cold, numerical model that appeals to the self-interest of consumers as much as their good will, seems to be working.
Today, (RED) announced their newest “product”, (RED)NIGHTS, a concert series where ticket sales follow the (RED) model. There will be 26 shows – artists announced so far include O.A.R., Santigold, Gomez and more.
O.A.R.‘s Marc Roberge had this to say about turning an O.A.R. show (RED): “If bringing awareness to what (RED) is doing helps one person receive antiretroviral treatment and live a healthy life we have accomplished our goal.”
Whether it brings awareness or not, the concerts will bring something better: medicine. $13 can provide one person with a month’s worth of medicine. 26 concerts will generate a lot of those months for a lot of people.