I promise…. I’m going to be better at this blogging thing.  Mac has made it even easier for me to blog by creating a Blogspot widget.  All I have to do is move my cursor to the bottom right of the screen, and voila!  There is my blogger!  Still… I’m not all that wonderful at updating these posts.

So, it’s my last semester, and I’m seeing (RED), literally.  It’s a scary and wonderful time, full of insecurity and room for God to move. But, as I approach that, I keep hearing the same question: “So, A….what is your thesis about?” What am I supposed to say to that? I mean, people want to know, but they definitely don’t want to know details. If you bust out with a “well, it’s about blah blah blah…,” then they discover either a good way to get out of convo, or a blank stare.  

For all of those who really care, this is my thesis in a nutshell (enter Zoolander reference here):

Product (RED) is an interesting case study.  As you know, the initiative includes all those red Apple iPods, Converse Shoes, Gap T-shirts, AmEx cards, Hallmark Cards, Motorola RED RAZRs, Armani sunglasses and watches, and now Dell Computers and Windows Vista software.  Bobby Shriver and Bono approached the Global Fund and wanted to create an economic initiative to find relief for AIDS in Africa.  So, this is a classic Cause-Related Marketing venture in a new form.

The Product (RED) initiative intrigues me because it is created to be more of a non-profit licensing business for the campaign (at least, thats how it seems to me right now). It provides social responsiblity actions on behalf of the corporate partners, which is beneficial for their business.  Each corporate partner enters into their unique business agreement with different parameters, but each company is both making money and donating money at the same time.

So, what I want to do is look at the campaign from a public relations point of view.  I want to interview the creators and partners to see  their decision making process when initiating this effort. I want to look at their communications to see what messages are communicated. Most importantly, I want to see how they evaluate the success of the project. I make no judgements, and I’m not trying to blow the lid off of the campaign. I just want to know how it all was started and how it will continue.

So, thats it. And, since starting this venture, I now own a few RED shirts and continue to buy a few more products. In fact, all of my Valentine’s Day cards will be from Product (RED). If they’re raising money to help an area of the world that I love, then it has to be great. Hopefully someday this will get me one step closer to meeting Bono 🙂

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