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Oprah’s Good For Your Website

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Book authors are quite aware that a mention on Oprah is the shortest distance between relative obscurity and the best sellers list. U2 front man Bono, and his corporate sponsors, just found out that Oprah’s good for web traffic, too.

Bono’s oddly titled global AIDS fund, (Project) Red (also known as (Red)) – that’s a lot of parentheses, isn’t it? – enlists the help of major retailers to create co-branded merchandise, the proceeds of which go to, um, (Red).

When Bono went on Oprah on October 13, the Join (Red) website experienced 2600 percent growth, according to Hitwise. The spillover found its way to partner sites. Two-thirds of the visitors that visited Join (Red), traveled on to the Gap, Converse, and Motorola websites, among others.

More than a quarter of the traffic filing into The Gap online, where the company is promoting a line of (Red) apparel, were directed there from Bono’s site, after being directed there from Oprah.

Because we all do whatever Oprah tells us.

For Converse, it was 7 percent of downstream visits; for Emporio Armani apparel and accessories, it was a combined 11.7 percent; for Apple and Apple store, it was 7.2 percent.

“The (RED) campaign represents a coordinated global effort to raise awareness and money for a worthy cause,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise.

“This data proves that making charity fashionable is a powerful way, not only to drive retail visits, but also as a way to drive product and charity interest among consumers.”

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