1911 – today
This has annoyed me for weeks now, since the parent company of Universal Pictures, NBC and other media enterprises announced its new name (NBCUniversal) and logo.
The reaction from the media — from the New York Times, to Huffington Post, to Gawker, to Media Bistro, to whoever else still thinks every new logo should be recalled — has been surprisingly ignorant and short-sighted. Everybody has expressed irreparable emotional damage that the NBC peacock logo is gone and that we will never see it again. Reportedly, even NBC anchor Brian Williams asked at the town hall meeting what was happening with its dear logo: “It’s our Coca-Cola. It’s our Apple. It’s our Ford Motor Company, that instantly recognizable thing.” Fear not Mr. Williams, et al. The NBC logo belongs to the NBC network, that fourth-tier network on television that nobody watches anymore, except for when Parks and Recreations is on. It’s also funny that no one lamented the loss of Universal’s globe. The peacock? Don’t touch it! The globe? Kill it, who cares!
It’s the parent company, not NBC the broadcaster. Now shut up already! This brouhaha everytime a brand is relaunched is ridiculous.
This month JAPAN AIRLINES announced that it will go back to the original red crown crane logo that it had used for more than 40 years, beginning in 1959.
In announcing the new old logo, JAL’s group president Masaru Onishi indicated that it signaled a return to JAL’s core values. “Now, represented by the high-flying crane, we hereby renew our commitment to provide our valued customers with the highest level of service…” he said.
Whoops, that’s your new logo. It’s also on the Twatter, of course: @GapLogo
Someone is attacking the nice people at Philip Morris again, with crazy accusations:
“The bar code looks like the bottom half of a packet of Marlboro cigarettes. I was stunned when I saw it. This is pushing at the limits…” But true to form, Marlboro is denying these claims. Philip Morris said: “We are confident that our relationship with Ferrari does not violate the UK 2002 Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act. The Formula One Grand Prix in the UK does not involve any race cars, team apparel, equipment or track signage carrying tobacco product branding. The same is true for all other Formula One races across the world.”
Somewhere, somehow it was decided that the absolute best of both worlds was to have the United name with the Continental look. It’s not. Financially, strategically and press releasingly, it does make sense, I wouldn’t even venture into thinking that the decision was wrong, but the visual manifestation is like fingernails on chalkboard. What’s funny is that if this were a new airline, and we didn’t have the accumulated associations of both brands we would just say it’s boring and move on, but it’s impossible to see the new logo and not feel that there is something inherently wrong with this equation.
In 2007 Blackwater Worldwide, the world’s largest private security company, made the wrong kind of headlines when Blackwater contractors allegedly shot and killed 17 Iraqis in a crowded square in Baghdad. This resulted in protests, congressional inquiries and the Iraqi government refusing to allow the organization to operate in the country. And now, in an effort to improve public perception, Blackwater has changed its name to Xe (pronounced ZEE). …
RJ Hillhouse, a national security expert and author of the blog called The Spy Who Billed Me, said the company is “obviously trying to distance itself from their image as reckless cowboys that’s etched into the world’s mind from the…shooting.” With a new name, “there are a lot of people who probably won’t connect the dots,” she said. “In a year or two, people won’t remember that’s Blackwater.”
When asked about the name change, Robert Passikoff, president of the New York marketing research firm Brand Keys, Inc. offered this: “There’s an old saying about brands: ‘When you can’t change the product, you change the packaging,’” he said. “It’s common for companies to rename in an effort to distance themselves from bad publicity, but in Blackwater’s case, things have gotten so bad that the company had little choice but dump the brand.” …
(via Brand New)