Following in the footsteps of its U.K. cousin, Penguin Group Canada is launching a new line of Penguin Classics in partnership with the charitable brand "(Product) Red" on December 1 World AIDS Day. Penguin will donate 50% of the net profits of each book sold to the Global Fund to help eliminate HIV/AIDS in Africa. Penguin U.S. is also launching its own (Red) Classics promotion December 1, making six titles available through various retailers.
Penguin launched its U.K. program in May in an exclusive partnership with Waterstone’s. Penguin Canada has formed a partnership deal with Indigo Books & Music, Canada’s largest book retail chain, to be the exclusive distributor of the books throughout the holiday season. In the new year, the books will be more broadly available in Canada. “The message of this campaign is that these great books still have the power to change lives—and literally, to save lives,” said Indigo CEO Heather Reisman. The “books that save lives” tagline resonated with all of us,” said Yvonne Hunter, Penguin Canada’s vice-president of publicity and marketing. “If people really respond to it, it could make quite a difference.”
The line of 16 Penguin Classics include titles such as Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Distinctive new covers have been designed for the line. Primarily, using red with black and white, the designs break with traditional use of paintings or photographs. Each cover instead has a passage of text turned into a graphic image with an artistic use of typography.
Launched in 2006, and promoted by numerous celebrities including U2’s Bono, the (Red) campaign has partnered with companies such as American Express, Apple, Gap and Starbucks to donate a significant portion of distinctively (Red) branded products to donate $150 million dollars to the Global Fund.