Bono Recounts Fight With Steve Jobs Over (Product) RED Branding, Urges Apple to Do More

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Over the weekend, Apple's chief designer Jony Ive and musician Bono attended the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where Bono was honored with the LionHeart Award for his work with the (Product) RED campaign to raise money for the fight against AIDS.

Ive during his interview at the Cannes Lions Festival
During their appearance, Ive and Bono sat down for a 45 minute interview. While the entirety of the interview has not yet been shared, Cannes has posted a short highlights reel, with the first two minutes of the video featuring Bono. In the spot, Bono describes working with Steve Jobs on (Product) RED, recounting a particular conversation with Jobs over the parentheses that are part of the (Product) RED name logo.

Jobs initially wanted to forgo the parentheses to keep anything from "interfering with the logo", but after a disagreement with Bono and some time to sleep on it, he conceded to the parentheses but never in Apple Stores.

As described by Adweek, though Ive and Bono are old friends and Apple has worked with (RED) for many years, Bono went on to complain on stage about Apple's quiet involvement in the project and the company's reluctance to put (RED) branding on products.
Bono went so far as to stand up, pull out an official (Red) iPad cover and remove the device, illustrating to the audience that the only actual nod to the nonprofit was inside the cover and therefore always obscured by the tablet.

"Where's the (Red) branding?" he asked Ive. "Nobody can see that. This is modesty run amok. This is the Apple way. They're like a religious cult."
Ive seemed unfazed by Bono's slights, noting that Apple and Product (RED) have a strong alliance. "We started in 2006 with one (RED) product, a nano, and now we've got well over half a dozen. It's been really, really special for us."

Over the course of Apple's partnership with (RED), the company has released (RED) iPod nanos and shuffles, iPad Smart Covers, iPhone Bumpers, and iPhone 5s cases, with a portion of each sale going directly to the charity.

Last year, Ive even teamed up with designed Marc Newson to create multiple one-of-a-kind products that were auctioned off by Sotheby's, with proceeds going to (RED). A range of items including solid gold EarPods and a red Mac Pro were auctioned, bringing in nearly $13 million.

To date, Apple has raised approximately $70 million for (Product) RED, with 100 percent of that money going towards HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. The full interview may be shared by Cannes in the future, but in the meantime, a slideshow created on Storify gives the highlights of the event.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Bono Recounts Fight With Steve Jobs Over (Product) RED Branding, Urges Apple to Do More
 
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JoEw

macrumors 68000
Nov 29, 2009
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Considering Apple has raised the most money for product red, I don't think he should be complaining.
 

slineaudi

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2009
104
53
"To date, Apple has raised approximately $70 million for (Product) RED, with 100 percent of that money going towards HIV/AIDS programs in Africa." Stop bitching about the logo, Bono.
 

unplugme71

macrumors 68030
May 20, 2011
2,794
744
Earth
Quit bitching. Apple is doing a lot as it is to contribute.

I personally would not have bought my red cases if it had the (RED). Knowing that Apple donated 10% was enough for me to feel I did something to help.
 

chirpie

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2010
639
173
"To date, Apple has raised approximately $70 million for (Product) RED, with 100 percent of that money going towards HIV/AIDS programs in Africa." Stop bitching about the logo, Bono.
It's an awareness issue. Not to say Bono is right in trying to undo a Company's manifesto on design, but if Bono was a wallflower on this (or anything else he might endeavor in) he wouldn't be as effective.
 

nwcs

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2009
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Tennessee
What I'm curious to know is how effective Project RED is. I've looked and I can't find a lot of measures to show good or bad. Case studies and worksheets and surveys on their site are nice but can easily not show the full picture. And they have been criticized in the past for not having much impact for the dollars donated.
 

ryansimmons323

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2011
230
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United Kingdom
You get the guy out to represent the organisation that has given you the most money in donations and then you insult him/them over a logo?

I should think Bono would be the first to point out that it's the donations that matter, not branding.
 

chirpie

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2010
639
173
I should think Bono would be the first to point out that it's the donations that matter, not branding.
Charity needs marketing just as much as any other business. (And with that, I'll drop out for a bit. I'm dangerously close to thread crapping.)
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,537
25,262
Awfully moving video. Sometimes it's good to be reminded just how lucky you are; helps take a step back and see the bigger picture. (And ignore the lack of Mac Mini updates).
 
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usarioclave

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
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It's important enough for Bono to argue about it, and it was important enough for Jobs to not put it there.

People disagree, but it's always unseemly to argue with the dead.
 

numlock

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2006
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ipods and some cases seems rather underwhelming but more than anything however.

how actually does it work. is there a set % or all profit or that gets donated to red from apple sales?
 

ryansimmons323

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2011
230
83
United Kingdom
Charity needs marketing just as much as any other business. (And with that, I'll drop out for a bit. I'm dangerously close to thread crapping.)
Sure, branding is important to any organisation to help convey the message you want to deliver, however I still think it's a bit rude of Bono to complain about branding when Apple's given a significant amount of money.

Once someone's purchased the product I don't think they need anything else to remind them that they own a Product RED device. The branding on packaging and advertising is sufficient as it is in my opinion.
 
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theBostonian

Suspended
Apr 15, 2012
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A bit of a hypocritical stance for a great many Apple fans as well though.
I don't think it's hypocritical per se, although it may have been back in the Steve Jobs days but I never really admired him as a person, more for his ingenuity.

Would you say Mr Cook has a "following" amongst Apple fans? I personally don't, he's not as charismatic in the way that Jobs was.
 

jbyun04

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2008
546
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Canada
Anytime I've bought a (RED) product, I've always been fully aware of what it is. I don't need a logo on the front to tell me.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
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Central U.S.
What Bono doesn't realize is that Apple users generally don't like huge logos splashed all over their products. Having that logo prominently placed on their device or accessory would result in lower sales, not higher. I have the red iPad Smart Case (which I love) and I know I wouldn't have purchased it with a giant logo.
 

technopimp

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2009
645
216
To be fair, I've always through the () were stupid looking and I didn't get the point in the logo.
 
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