12:22pm PT by Andrew Hampp, Billboard
U2's Super Bowl Ad Raised More Than $3 Million Via Free Downloads (Video)
This article first appeared on Billboard.com.
U2's exclusive premiere of new single "Invisible" during the Super Bowl, in partnership with (RED) and Bank of America, raised more than $3 million in 36 hours for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria through free downloads on iTunes, the band announced Tuesday.
The success of the campaign prompted Bank of America to exceed its initial pledge of $2 million. All proceeds from additional copies of "Invisible" sold for $1.29, beginning today, will be donated to the Global Fund as well.
Released Sunday afternoon, “Invisible” saw more than 1 million free downloads within the first hour after the commercial aired during the first quarter of the Super Bowl telecast. By the time the free downloads ended, just before midnight EST Monday night, the song had generated more than 3 million free downloads.
U2’s upcoming studio album is slated for release in late spring/early summer.
Since it was founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006, (RED) has raised more than $250 million for the Global Fund to drive corporate donations in the fight against AIDS. Bank of America’s recent contribution is part of a two-year, $10 million commitment by the company.
"These are much-needed funds for the fight to end the AIDS pandemic in our lifetime and to get closer to the goal of eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015," Deborah Dugan, CEO of (RED), said in a statement.
Anne Finucane, global strategy and marketing officer at Bank of America, added, "U2 provides the talent, (RED) brings a wealth of experience in the fight against AIDS, and we offer an immense platform to help get the message out. Together we can produce significant results, as evidenced by the awareness we’ve been able to build and the money we’ve been able to raise over the past few days."
Sunday’s Super Bowl was a record telecast in terms of halftime show viewers and music licenses, with the top three publishers reporting more than 20 major synch licenses in featured commercials.