At Cannes Lions 2014, Bono, engaged lead singer of Irish band U2 and “revolutionary” militant with (RED) was invited and honored with first Lionheart award.
Bono, U2 front man and lyricist of most titles, author engaged for years in various humanitarian and political causes such as Artists Against Apartheid, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, was Cannes Lions guest of honor on June 21, 2014. He asked creatives to help him with his humanitarian brand (RED).
Bono, tender-hearted rock star
Boasting a Rock Star look, rockabilly hairstyle, bluish glasses, black ensemble with studded jacket and matching boots, so appeared Bono on stage at the main auditorium of the Palais des Festivals. He talked with Jonathan Ive, Apple’s vice president of design, a conversation moderated by Shane Smith, co-founder and CEO of media company Vice. The discussed for 45 minutes before an audience packed with fans.
(RED) againts AIDS
The audience laughed when Bono told the colorful stories of two distinct disagreements: one with Steve Jobs of Apple: “We had a a bit of fight over the parenthesis, which is the branding of Red,” Bono said. The other disagreements was with Edge, guitarist and friend of U2, concerning the appearance of Jesse Helms, a stalwart Republican from the south. Then he tackeld with seriousness and gravity the necessary assistance to raise funds for his organization which fights against AIDS by promoting (RED), a design product line for Apple (protective cover for iPhone and iPad).
Not a cause but an emergency
“I really want to implore you by asking you to help us with this problem,” he addressed the audience full of communication specialists present for the most important awards of the marketing industry. Jonathan Ive continued: “This is the most important room of all time in which (RED) will be present.”
Bono is the co-founder with Bobby Shriver of this organization created in 2006 to engage the business community and consumers in the fight against AIDS with a long term vision of an AIDS-free generation. He has never stopped hammering how crucial it was to share ideas and marketing products that could help fund (RED) and focus the attention on poverty and diseases that ravage the third world today.
He stressed the urgency of the fight against AIDS, insisting that its charitable efforts were vital to keep people alive: “Eight thousand people die every day, that is not a cause but an emergency. This initiative has already raised over $ 250 million.”
Close to the end of his speech, Bono turned to the audience to say that representatives of (RED) would go through the Cannes Lions audience to pick up the business cards of those who were willing to help. Vice CEO Shane Smith, who was speaking as a moderator in the debate between Bono and Jonathan Ive, left the scene to go to the public and solicit ideas. A cocktail of creativity and charity, sprinkled with activism.
Bono and (RED) honored
The day did not stop there as, later in the evening, our nice Irish devil Bono received the Lionheart inaugural award, awarded at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the achievements of (RED). This award recognizes an individual or organization that is innovative in its use of the power of a trademark for humanitarian or environmental purposes.
The Chairman of the Festival, Terry Savage, said during the presentation fo the trophy: “Bono has used his celebrity status to successfully establish a global brand, through which it has established unique relationships with other brands, to raise awareness and funds for the fight against AIDS and to achieve greater good for humanity. “
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