So far more than 55 million people have been reached with prevention, treatment, counseling, and care services through these grants. (RED) dollars are used to support programs that have helped provide life-saving antiretroviral therapy for 220,000 HIV-positive people, put more than 130,000 HIV-positive pregnant women on preventative antiretroviral therapy to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission and reached 13 million people with HIV testing and counselling [sic].
With such remarkable success, it's reasonable to ask if similar campaigns [ maybe named (BLUE)™ and (YELLOW)™ ] could be established to help fund the Global Fund's other two focus areas; tuberculosis and malaria.
Why has (RED)™ been successful?
In no particular order, these factors have probably been key to (RED)™’s success :
- The organization was founded, and is now actively promoted, by major celebrities in the arts (Bono) and a member of a dynastic political family (Bobby Shriver).
- AIDS has disproportionately affected, and AIDS research and treatment is very publicly supported, by members of the arts and entertainment communities.
- The public's perception of AIDS has transformed over time from a frightening disease of unknown origin and means of transmission, with almost assured fatality, to a treatable syndrome that has lost much of its mystery and social aversion.
- The companies signing on to the campaign have included large, visible, trend-making firms like Apple, Beats by Dr. Dre, Starbucks, etc.
- The color red itself connotes a level of rebelliousness and public display that makes association with the (RED)™ products a way of making a political, social, and even fashion statement.
Can (RED)™'s success be replicated?
If these are in fact the essential requirements, then a reasonable argument could be made for (BLUE)™ and (YELLOW)™.
- There are of course other widely-known and admired celebrities, both in the West and in the areas most affected by tuberculosis and malaria (i.e., Africa, India, Indonesia, etc.), who could front such efforts. Think of Youssou N'dour, Didier Drogba, and Angelique Kidjo in Africa; Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, and Dia Mirza in India; Anne Avantie, Gunawan Jusaf, and Tahir in Indonesia --all of whom are already known for their charity and philanthropic efforts.
- Malaria has a complex epidemiology, often but not exclusively involving high temperatures, high humidity, and rural locations. While children and pregnant women are typically at higher risk, it does not appear to affect any social or occupational cohort more than any other. TB's spread is no less complex, often connected with those who are immunocompromised from diseases like AIDS.
- Unlike AIDS, TB and malaria have been a familiar part of human history for thousands of years. And while there is less stigma associated with malaria, TB's connection with AIDS, poverty, prison, etc. make it's sufferers far more susceptible to discrimination.
- Though companies like Chevron and Coca-Cola have been contributors to fighting malaria and TB, most of the contributors have been pharmaceutical manufacturers like Novartis and Lilly.
- As for colors, neither blue nor yellow appear to have negative cultural connotations in many areas around the world. See Information is Beautiful's Colours in Culture poster summarizing the perceptive meaning of colors in a number of different regions.
So, would it work?
Purely from a branding perspective, there's probably no reason why One couldn't create parallel divisions to raise awareness about and funding for tuberculosis and malaria, and name them (BLUE)™ and (YELLOW)™ respectively. But in America, at least, doing so might draw some attention away from (RED)™ and further confuse a public already unclear and anxious about Ebola, MSRA, and seasonal flu at home, and Ebola, MERS, etc. abroad. In addition, there already exist high-profile organizations like Malaria No More and
Stop TB, both of which are currently partnered with the Global Fund.
There might actually be a greater opportunity for a (BLUE)™ or (YELLOW)™ campaign outside the US, maybe in one of the regions mentioned above and maybe promoted by one of those philanthropists. And just as (RED)™ was created independently and only later brought into ONE, an independent (BLUE)™ or (YELLOW)™ could associate with ONE if and when it made sense to do so.