The Oscars’ rebrand, in terms of strategy and timing, seems like it falls short. Why now? What’s new? Who cares and why?
Brands are not logos and logos are not brands. Sure, logos represent a brand, but to tackle a rebrand, the logo in and of itself shouldn’t be the determination it’s time to do so.
(If that were the case, logos, like fashion, would change every season… and think what that communicates. “Confused” is one word that comes to mind.)
Of course, Google, may be seen as an exception …but they are an example of how a logo can bring a brand to life in ways that make sense to the core business; in this case, around the calendar, history and current events.
(Not all brands should try this.)
Above the Influence is another example. The black and white logo used this way to create engagement with the brand (having teenagers “color in” the logo artistically).
But even before a logo is designed and a strategy around it is conceived, the brand must be defined…
A brand is essentially a persona and promise — what people can rely on and expect. It’s the intersection point where business and implementation (creating meaning for consumers) meet.
Therefore, if you change your logo, consider it a significant opportunity to:
Communicate out how you are new and improved and how it benefits the consumer (or viewer)
Promote a renewed commitment that supports new products/services or offering
Celebrate a significant milestone (e.g., anniversary)
So how does the viewer benefit from the new Oscar logo? Is there going to be a better awards ceremony?…
According to The Guardian, the answer is yes. But let’s think about this. Ask any viewer and I bet one of these reasons is shared…
The shows are always long and drawn out.
The voting appears to be skewed to old ways of thinking (if not, why then is there a lack of stories being told and different actors being hired and rewarded?)
Categories the viewers generally care about are at the end with dry, boring award programming filling the hours in between.
Honestly, watching the recaps on the morning news shows is more efficient.
For years under the old logo, viewers have been expecting, hoping, praying for updated content/approach. This is Hollywood for goodness sake… and The Oscars, as part of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, is supposed to be about promoting and advancing film excellence.
So what’s up?! I’m still wondering why now? Why should I care… it’s just a new logo after all.
I am not seeing substance beyond talk about how the show is now going to be produced (and you don’t need to spend money on a logo or promotions for that to happen).
The lesson to organizations thinking changing the logo as the solution to fixing your public perception:
Honestly ask yourself: Why are you doing this now? What you trying to achieve? What will you be communicating when you update your logo? And what potentially can be read between the lines in the way you are considering this update in timing and approach?
Consumers are not dumb.
Are you, like Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, putting an emphasis on design as a way of communicating a new day… but in fact putting an inadvertent spotlight on the fact old school thinking and internal politics have been the reason you’ve been failing? Or, are you updating one of your events/products/services as part of a larger organizational commitment to offer more meaningful relationship, for example, to back up this “new day”?
If you need to update your public persona, I a few recommendations to consider:
- Honest, transparent outreach where consumers (viewers) are involved in suggesting (programming) ideas that, in some way, are implemented moving forward.
- Re-evaluating and setting new standards that align with your core values and ultimately inform how you deliver information/services. (Example here: Create new pre- and post awards programming on and offline to reinforce it really is a new day for the larger organization.)
- Expanding on the bullet above, see the process of updating your brand as an opportunity to embrace and build upon past failures and criticisms to truly re-enter bigger and better - offering something of value that communicates growth. (For the Academy, developing a larger image-enhancing campaign putting The Oscar’s new format and logo in context of a new agenda for the organization, such as a range of story lines and talent representing different ages, races and creeds are promoted and recognized.)
To me, the Oscar’s new logo looks nice, but really represents a rationale for how the Academy has been missing the mark up versuswhat is exciting about the future, and how (exactly) the organization has really turned a corner(not just produced a new event for viewership ratings/advertising sake).
I hope tonight I am enlightened.
This Sunday, along with the dresses and the speeches, viewers will also see the Academy’s new brand identity.
Read> Why The Oscars Logo Got A Makeover - Co.Design