Bono was recently awarded the LionHeart Award for his contributions to the AIDS effort through his (Product) RED campaign.
At the event, the U2 frontman spoke candidly about a fight he had with Steve Jobs over the branding of (Product) RED.
Originally, Jobs refused to allow the parenthesis in the (Product) RED brand, which Bono argued was vital to the campaign’s brand. After agreeing to sleep on the matter, Jobs compromised, allowing the parenthesis as a favour to Bono, but refusing to include the parenthesis anywhere within an Apple store.
But Apple’s involvement is still too quiet and tucked away for Bono’s liking. At one point in the interview, Adweek reports that Bono pulled out a red (Product) RED iPad cover, showing the audience how minute the branding was on the inside cover.
“Where’s the (RED) branding?” said Bono. “Nobody can see that. This is modesty run amok. This is the Apple way. They’re like a religious cult.”
The comments were directed at Apple chief designer Jony Ive, who also attended the event at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Ive chose to ignore the comment. “We started in 2006 with one (RED) product, a Nano, and now we’ve got well over half a dozen,” Ive said. “It’s been really, really special for us.”
Bono and Ive have collaborated in the past, with Ive designing some one-of-a-kind 18-karat gold Apple EarPods and a unique red Mac Pro for a (RED) charity auction.
Apple’s involvement in the (Product) RED campaign has raised around $US70 million to date, with the entirety going to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.