Apple decided to take this year’s World AIDS Day campaign to another level. The Cupertino-based company will run a two-week campaign to raise funds for the fight against the deadly disease. Apple will join (RED), a brand founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006 with the aim of raising awareness about the African AIDS crisis.
“Apple is a proud supporter of (RED) because we believe the gift of life is the most important gift anyone can give,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “For eight years, our customers have been helping fight AIDS in Africa by funding life-saving treatments which are having a profoundly positive impact.”
Since the campaign was launched in 2006, Apple and the partners it drew in the process managed to raise $75 million. The sum turns Apple into a key participant in the process. Overall, the charity raised $275 million which went to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.
This year’s campaign starts on Monday, Nov. 24 and lasts until Sunday, Dec. 7. Apple convinced 25 app makers to donate all the revenue gained in the next two weeks from app and in-app purchases to the cause. Some introduced special features. For example, FIFA 15 players can now join a (RED) tournament.
The company will supplement the funds with a proportion of its own sales. During the first campaign, for every iPod Nano Red Special Edition sold, Apple gave $10 to the cause. On Black Friday, Apply will give customers (RED) gift cards. During the World AIDS Day, all Apple products sold both in brick-and-mortar stores, as well as online, will be (RED), with a significant portion of revenues going to the cause.
The present Ebola outbreak convinced the tech world to get donate large sums of money. Google’s Larry Page gave $15 million, while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated $25 million. They both used their companies to raise funds for the fight against Ebola. Microsoft’s Paul Allen donated $100 million to the efforts to eradicate the disease.
Bono lauded Apple for choosing to give a hand to his campaign. U2’s frontman believes that Apple’s example will have a large influence over the business environment.
However, such efforts have been constantly criticized over the years. The topics are varied, but some critics claim that using diseases as marketing tools is not entirely ethical. Others point that simplistic underlying messages such as ‘Africa is a country’, may erode other more efficient strategies of tackling the problem.