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OCTOBER 13, 2006
Oprah & Bono Launch (Product) RED

ProjectredOn Thursday morning, Oprah and Bono sparked a frenzy on Chicago'sRednano Michigan Avenue when they went shopping to officially launch the U.S. leg of (Product) RED -- a global retail initiative to help knock out AIDS in Africa. Kicking things off at Gap where the pair drew the biggest crowd and mugged for press, they drove down the Mag Mile in a red Thunderbird. Oprah emerged wearing a Gap (Product) RED T-shirt and said "Bono and I are going shopping to help save Oprahbono the world," and then popped into the store. Bono, clad in waxed denim jacket, emerged a short while later carrying the talk show host's many bags and said he was Oprah's "roadie."

Next up: the Apple store. I was fortunate enough to be inside while throngs of fans crowded the sidewalk in front of the store. Bono and Oprah were there to play with and introduce Apple's new red Nano, which will be available starting today (Oct 13) in 4 GB versions and will retail for $199 ($10 of which will go to the charity). Oprah snatched up 10 of the gorgeous red anodized aluminum-cased units and then the pair departed -- in and out, no muss no fuss.

After they left and the crowd followed, I walked over to the table of red Nanos for a closer look and, about two feet from the display, a tall, skinny Apple rep stepped in my path. "Um, can I help you?" "I just want to look at the red Nano." "You can come back tomorrow when they'll be available." I guess only Oprah and Bono were glorious enough to touch the units today.Bonocruzkanye_1

Next, the pair headed up to Armani and then back down MichAve to meet up with Kanye West at the temporary Motorla space, where the red RAZRs reside. Oprah took off after that, Kanye reportedly shopped at Armani and Bono left for restaurant NoMi at the Park Hyatt to have a sushi lunch with Christie Turlington, Penelope Cruz and a bunch of RED reps.

Motored The project launched in the UK in the spring and featured a massive concert in Trafalgar Square last month featuring the Scissor Sisters.  The British have already raised $10 million for the project. For every purchase made at the participating retailers -- Gap, Armani, Converse, Motorola and now Apple -- part of the proceeds from every Red product will go to aid women and children in Africa. The entire shopping extravaganza aired on the Oprah show today.

Do your part. Go shopping. Where? Gap, Apple, Moto, Armani and Converse.Gapred

Why? There are more than 5 million people -- that's about 19% of the total population -- living with AIDS/HIV in South Africa. And that's just a small portion of the global epidemic. Will it ever end? Hopefully (Product) RED will help. And you too. We're all responsible.

Here's my question: Why aren't more retailers already on board with this?

Click to see more pix from the day...

Oprah and Bono pull up in front of Gap in the snow...


Oprahbono_gap2 She buys up the Gap store...

Oprahbono_apple They test out the new red Nano...

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