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Bono reveals arguments with Apple, Jobs over (Product) RED branding

updated 02:57 pm EDT, Mon June 23, 2014

Bono says current Apple products still hide RED logo

U2 frontman/(Product) RED creator Bono squared off with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs about RED branding, a Cannes interview (below) reveals. Some proceeds from RED-branded products go toward the Global Fund, a charity that combats AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, particularly in Africa. Bono notes however that when Apple was first entering the program, Jobs wanted to remove the parentheses to stop anything from "interfering with the logo." After some time to sleep on the idea, Jobs partially conceded, but still blocked parentheses from being used in Apple Stores.

Bono says that he is still bothered by Apple's relatively quiet participation in RED. Although Apple is the program's biggest individual contributor, very few of its products qualify; these include just a handful of iPhone and iPad cases and some iPod models. During the interview, Bono pulled out an iPad with a RED case and removed the accessory. "Where's the RED branding?" he asked Apple's lead designer, Jonathan Ive, who joined him for the discussion. "Nobody can see that. This is modesty run amok. This is the Apple way. They're like a religious cult."

Ive defended Apple's involvement. "We started in 2006 with one RED product, a Nano, and now we've got well over half a dozen," he said. "It's been really, really special for us."

Bono says he's looking to secure more RED partners, which he hopes will be more willing to promote the initiative. At Cannes Bono and RED staff passed around glasses in an effort to collect business cards, and Bono even solicited ideas from the crowd.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. pottymouth

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-19-03

    "Where is the branding?" Why should there be branding? That seems a bit like grumbling about people who donate to cancer awareness and but then don't put the ribbon magnet on their car.

    I dunno about you, but I don't donate to causes just to get free stickers, I don't even particularly like the color red, and I definitely don't dig the parenthesis gimmick. Can I just give you a donation and have a gray product, please?

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Whatever, Bono. Next!

  1. mgpalma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-27-00

    Bono sounds like a whiner to me. They've raised 100 million you ingrate, go cry somewhere else. Branding is your job dude, Apples job is THEIR branding. Why is worrying about branding being like a cult?? Freak.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    All of you above are right, of course.

    Still: kudos to Bono for not being THAT much of a whore to suck up to just about everything Apple says and does. I admit I myself wondered why Apple is doing such a half-assed job with (Product) RED... an iPad case, really? Why not make a bad-ass blood-red MacBook Retina?

    And... wow, what a shill Ive has become. Perfectly trained in corporate bullshit counting: "well over half a dozen" - that's, like, seven?

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    "half-assed"? Apple has raised more money than *any* of the other "more branded" (RED) products, and has donated something like $75 million to the cause. This must be some strange new meaning of the word "half-assed" that I'm unfamiliar with ...

    To put this another way, McDonald's raises millions for (its own) charity, the Ronald McDonald House (a very worthy cause indeed). But they don't redecorate their restaurants, add the word "House" to every package or start selling healthier food when they do this. They incorporate their fundraising into the character of the restaurant. That's how it is with Apple.

    I doubt Bono was being all that serious, but whether he was or not I think he may have forgotten that (RED) isn't a product, and that the host company's branding style (for any company) will (and should) take precedence. I notice he hasn't taken to calling his band U2 (RED) ever ...

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Turns out Bono was, in fact, joking.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by Jeronimo2000View Post

    All of you above are right, of course.

    Still: kudos to Bono for not being THAT much of a whore to suck up to just about everything Apple says and does. I admit I myself wondered why Apple is doing such a half-assed job with (Product) RED... an iPad case, really? Why not make a bad-ass blood-red MacBook Retina?

    And... wow, what a shill Ive has become. Perfectly trained in corporate bullshit counting: "well over half a dozen" - that's, like, seven?



    a) Ive works for and at Apple. This is not a secret, as far as I know. Check your definition of a "shill", please.

    b) Ive and Bono are friends. Bono made a joke. Ive played along. That's how it works.

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