KEF, the big-time British hi-fi company, has gone pink. Their $1500 KHT3005 home theater setup isn't just an attempt at attracting the young female demographic (though that's a great idea), but rather a one-off special edition to help raise money for breast cancer.
Charity auctions are potentially a great way for audio companies to get a lot more exposure. Sure, parting with $1000s worth of product is a rough write-off, but the exposure along side other items such as luxury clothing, furniture, artwork and exotic cars is surely a way to help take audio to the place it needs to go -- out of the DIY underground and into Barney's NY.
Apple has shown the way as well, with their iPod tie-in to the (red) AIDS campaign. The (red) product page shows the AIDS-fighting shopping mall with companies like Armani, Motorola, Gap, AmEx, etc. What would it take to get a legit hi-fi company in that crowd? Don't know, but it's sure worth exploring.
Dallas Casey over at Zu Audio sent me his mockup of pink Hello Kitty Druids after my article about Fender's Hello Kitty Guitar. Alas, Sakura Inc. has yet to contact Zu to create full line of Hello Kitty Druids, but I'm sure there's a whole cult of Japanese fan girls out there screaming their eyes out with audiophile lust.
So why don't we see more tie-ins and attempts at cross-industry pollination? Because hi-fi is a blob-like entity too focused on selling to audiophiles and has forgotten just how damn cool audio can be. There are some major hurdles that need to be overcome (like $1000+ cables, isolation devices and other zaniness) but done right, hi-fi can inspire lust in the most unlikely of people.