Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


Mass Communication

Document Type



In an effort to combat the AIDS epidemic around the world, the Product (RED) campaign aims to engage consumers in an “economic initiative” with exclusive products from their corporate partnerships. Academic journals claim that this effort is a new form of Cause-Related Marketing (CRM), even though it involves many Public Relations strategies and tactics. Product (RED)’s unique nature is unlike previous CRM campaigns due to its corporate partnership agreements. Researchers have not previously studied initiatives such as Product (RED) through either Public Relations or Marketing theories. David’s (2004) Convergence Theory creates a cyclical model to merge both Public Relations and Marketing theory where both fields compliment each other in strategy and outcomes. Cancel et. al.’s (1997) Contingency Theory states that Public Relations strategies function along a continuum of either advocacy or accommodation tactics. The purpose of this study was to understand the creation process of the Product (RED) campaign in order to fully comprehend how social activism campaigns combine both Marketing and Public Relations strategies. This research compiled interviews with Product (RED) campaign organizers, corporate partners, and social responsibility analysts. Results showed a blend of both Contingency and Convergence Theories, applying a mix of accommodation and advocacy strategies. Interviews displayed differing levels of consumer and corporate engagement, as well as key campaign elements to include for future social activism campaigns.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Anne C. Osborne