Ever since I first saw Bono’s (red) campaign, I fell in love with its clever play on words, and the design of their ads; but most importantly I admire their commendable act of bringing awareness to the issue. Recently several large trade publications have written articles about the ever growing gap between its massive cost spent on the (red) campaign and its smaller than expected ROI. These articles sparked an intense debate about the numbers and real impact of the campaign. There’s no point quoting any of the numbers since none of them come from a reliable source, but I do hope the campaign is not frivolously wasting money and yield some real results.

As for the ad itself, it came from the collaboration between Romantic Static and Words Pictures Ideas. Their rival campaign that is attacking the (red) campaign have raise an interesting point of view about all of this. A person should donate to charities without buying anything from major companies. The idea here is interesting as they argue that more money should be donated directly to a cause and that shopping should not be a rational response to human suffering.

I can see both sides of the argument here. Most people will only donate to charity if they get something beneficial from it. Whether it’s to bring them one step closer to enlightenment or a simple tax return. So from that point of view I do understand where project (red) came from and the fact that it does have potential to get people who normally would not donate to charities to help even in a very small way. That being said I also agree with the fact that supporting this lazy “Not my problem” mentality is a short term solution that may not yield any tangible impact. Only time will tell and hopefully someday we will know the real numbers behind all of this.