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Commodified celebrities sacrifice their “digital lives” to raise money for AIDS victims


Each year new technologies create amazing marketing and promotional opportunities for the people who know how to find them.

Take the Buy Life campaign, for example. This project is run by Alicia Keys’ Keep a Child Alive charity, which finances medical care for children and families affected by H.I.V. and AIDS in Africa and India. What sets Buy Life apart from other fundraising projects is the way they’ve managed to use technology in combination with promotional products and pop culture to reach a huge audience.

Starting tomorrow (World AIDS Day), a handful of popular celebrities with widely-scrutinized “digital lives” have committed to a temporary vow of silence. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Justin Timberlake, and Lady Gaga will stop posting updates to their social media accounts until fans have raised $1 million for the charity.

Incorporating social media isn’t the only way this innovative campaign plans to make use of technology. Buy Life also sells promotional t-shirts that make it easy for the tech-savvy to make a quick donation by scanning the shirt’s barcode with a smartphone. The custom imprinted shirt also includes information about donating via text message for those without smartphones.

custom imprinted tshirt

The Buy Life campaign is a great example of the evolution of fundraising. Another great promo product that works well for fundraising are awareness bracelets. The next time you’re looking for promotional fundraising items, think first about ways you might be able to increase the reach and impact of your project with the help of technology!


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