Most normal people don’t think about what goes into creating a logo. Apple is just an apple with a bite taken out and Google is just a bunch of colorful letters. But most normal people don’t know what makes a good logo; they just know a bad one when they see it.
Graphic designers and marketing agencies can recognize a bad logo too but they can tell you why it won’t bring in any extra bucks. There are elements like typography, vision and design that determine the uniqueness of a logo. At Bon’s Eye, we recognize this concept but we aren’t the only agency who does.
Inetdesign, a Danish branding agency created a video that uses a collage of well-known logos to explain what makes them so exemplary. They removed the actual brand names, and replaced them with words
The actual script of the video talks about the importance of branding, how good branding is like telling a story, and how the successful brands are the ones who win the marathon, not the sprint. The sequence of logos combined with the narration overlay does a wonderful job of highlighting exactly how iconic logos have become in our culture. We don’t need the actual brand name if the design elements are strong enough on their own. And really who needs Burger King when you’ve got the Golden Ratio?
Current events are the inspiration behind many brands’ ads. Holidays like Mother’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and the Fourth of July are easy themes to work with when planning commercials. However, brands have to be cautious when dealing with other, more controversial newsworthy topics, as outlined in previous blog posts about fashion trends, campaigns, and Twitter hashtags. If this is the type of ad you’re looking to create, you just have to hope that the positive conversations make the negative ones worth dealing with.
A few months ago, the negative conversation came before the positive for Wells Fargo. Their latest advertisement shows two women independently practicing sign language. The commercial depicts each woman taking breaks – at work, home, and even on the subway – to perfect the language. We then see them side by side in a car, nervously reassuring each other. The next scene tells why: they’re adopting a deaf child. One woman signs, “Hello beautiful. We are your new mommies.” At the close, we see the Wells Fargo logo and a plug for preparing financially for “when two becomes three.”
It’s an ad to promote financial family planning, but it also makes a statement about Wells Fargo’s stance on non-traditional families. The story-line itself doesn’t seem particularly scathing, yet it received backlash that transcended the confines of the Internet. Franklin Graham, son of the famous Christian evangelist Billy Graham, actually transferred his accounts to another bank in protest, urging other families to do the same. But after Graham preached his views about Wells Fargo’s actions, countless other individuals stood up for the company, happy to accept the bank’s stand on the subject.
When brands take a political stance, criticism is unavoidable. People have different beliefs, so when a company chooses to take a side, it’s choosing to take a risk. In Wells Fargo’s case, they took a chance and did their best to show support without rebuking the reverse. How will we know if this was the right choice? An easy way to tell is whether other banks choose to follow the leader and become as politically vocal.
Marketing and public relations are fields that are full of surprises. Sometimes, you can anticipate which changes will rock the boat; other times, you can only attempt to react with grace and intelligence.
Target recently made a decision to replace the pink and blue signs in their toy section with more gender neutral colors. Top executives expected some backlash, but they could never have predicted the effect one overly-eager fan would have on its reputation.
Mike Melgaard was scrolling through Facebook when he saw Target’s news. Right away, he knew there would be offended Americans writing on the company’s Facebook wall so he decided to take it upon himself to do some proactive damage control. Melgaard created a fake Facebook account posing as a Target customer service rep and responded to the outraged fans.
Although his responses were entertaining to most, a few disgruntled Facebook users were certainly not amused. Some even threatened to report Melgaard to his superiors, not realizing he had none. Even so, Target felt the need to apologize to their fan base for their so-called employee’s actions. They offered this official statement:
“At Target, we are committed to providing outstanding guest service to our guests wherever we engage with them—in our stores, online, or on our social pages. Clearly this individual was not speaking on behalf of Target. Should guests ever have questions on whether a communication from Target is legitimate, we encourage them to reach out to guest relations at 1-800-440-0680.”
Later that week, however, they posted a picture to Facebook of two Troll dolls, slyly implying support of Melgaard’s antics without actually saying it.
The lesson learned: Listen to your followers and fans. Target was smart enough to recognize that although Melgaard was a little more sarcastic and offensive than any real Target employee should be, he did more good than bad. Target might have lost a few fans throughout the process, but they gained many others thanks to one rogue “employee.”