Apple launches massive two
SAN FRANCISCO - Apple is glowing (RED) for the holidays.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant launches an unprecedented two-week campaign Monday that involves its app store, retail locations and online store, yet another example of CEO Tim Cook's push to boost the company's corporate image.
(RED), the charity started in 2006 by singer Bono with a mission to rid the world of HIV/AIDS, will turn the campaign's proceeds over to The Global Fund for use in providing antiretroviral treatment to AIDS sufferers primarily in Africa.
''This time, it was about getting developers deeply involved. It couldn't just be veneer.''
Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president
'We've been involved with (RED) from the beginning and have raised $75 million, but we were convinced there was an opportunity to get people to rediscover this cause,' Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of software and services, told USA TODAY. 'This time, it was about getting developers deeply involved. It couldn't just be veneer.'
This marks not only another salvo in Apple's battle to polish its reputation as a company that cares about everything from the environment to gay rights, but also echoes a number of recent high-profile personal donations and corporate campaigns targeting the recent ebola crisis from companies such as Facebook and Mircosoft.
About six months ago, Apple approached 25 top-selling app makers and got them to customize their products with (RED)-tinged tweaks for the effort. For example, Zynga's CSR Racing fans can buy a red (RED) Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, while Electronic Arts' FIFA 15 players can compete in a special (RED) tournament.
The campaign, which runs from Monday through Dec. 7, will donate all proceeds from purchases of the 25 Apps for (RED) or their in-app upgrades. In addition:
On Nov. 28, the shopping season's Black Friday, all U.S. Apple stores and online counterparts will offer customers buying select products a special edition (RED) gift card, a portion of which goes to The Global Fund
''In the coming weeks, we'll see how our customers respond (to the campaign), and we'll use that to see what we can do going forward.''
Frank Gibeau, Electronic Arts
On Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, Apple will donate a portion of all in-store and online purchases to this cause.
'When Apple approached us, we were blown away by the possibility to use our platform to do something this massively good,' says Frank Gibeau, executive vice president of EA Mobile, whose participating apps - FIFA 15 and Sims FreePlay - have tallied 100 million iOS downloads to date.
CSR Racing has an in-app upgrade to a (RED)-branded Mercedes-Benz AMG-GT, one of 25 apps working with Apple to donate money over the next two weeks to fight HIV/AIDS.(Photo: Courtesy of Apple)
'It's inspired us to think about these things,' he adds. 'In the coming weeks, we'll see how our customers respond (to the campaign), and we'll use that to see what we can do going forward.'
(RED) CEO Deborah Dugan says that 'this campaign is certainly something that could cause other companies to step up. And we need to keep the heat on (HIV/AIDS) or we'll slip back to where we were.'
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