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One of the planned elements of Converse’s promotional strategy was joining forces with the (RED) Global Fund, which raises money to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Through the (RED) initiative, Converse has developed more than 110 artist-, designer-, and musician-designed All Stars, including limited editions by The Edge, Lupe Fiasco, Terence Koh, and Vena Cava.

I am having a hard time understanding the implied meaning in this paragraph. The bold part says that through RED initiative (plan), Converse developed many shoes.

I don't understand how, through RED initiative, was Converse able to develop these musicians-designed shoes?

What does RED plan (initiative) have to do with Converse developing musicians-artist-designed shoes?

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The "RED Initiative" seems to clearly refer to the partnership between the artists and Converse on behalf of the RED Global Fund.

RED Global Fund asked Converse to design shoes for them, so Converse developed the "RED initiative" in response (a plan to promote RED Global Fund which included asking artists to design special shoes to help benefit RED Global Fund, to which the artists agreed). Had the partnership between Converse and RED Global fund (and later the artists) not existed, those particular shoes wouldn't have been made for RED Global Fund (as I read it).

And yes, this is a poor use of "Initiative" by marketing personnel.

  • So Converse developed these special shoes so the revenue generated from selling them would go to Global Fund. Right? – Ghaith Alrestom Oct 26 '15 at 7:06
  • Yes, that is exactly what seems to be happening. – Anaksunaman Oct 26 '15 at 7:19
  • I meant it was a poor use of "through". They could have used "for" instead. – Brian Hitchcock Oct 30 '15 at 7:01
  • @BrianHitchcock Whoops! =P Exactly right. I still don't like the use of "initiative" though. I think something like "partnership" would have worked better for clarity. It's all silly marketing speak to me. =) – Anaksunaman Oct 30 '15 at 8:38
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They didn't mean "through" as by means of, the causative sense of tthat you inferred. They meant "through" as throughout, meaning through (during) the entire period (duration) of the campaign.

(This was sloppy use of English, but IMHO "par for the course" for sales/marketing English.)

If they had said "Through the RED campaign, we have been able to raise $[X] for this worthy cause", that would have been the sense you expected.

  • I still don't understand. What is happening in this campaign that enables Converse to develop musician-designed shoes? What is the relation between RED initiative and Converse developing musician-designed shoes? Thank you for answering though. – Ghaith Alrestom Oct 26 '15 at 6:25
  • It didn't enable them to design the shoes. But it enabled them to tout the shoes as charity-connected, to encourage kind-hearted people to buy those shoes. Converse got free shoe design, free publicity, and enhanced goodwill, and the RED Global Fund got some money out of the deal. So they furthered each other's goals. – Brian Hitchcock Oct 30 '15 at 7:05

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