Monday, July 27, 2015

Does This End The Logo Size Debate Forever?

It's just possible you may have seen this campaign for the iPhone.

It has apparently run in 70 cities and 24 countries, in magazines, newspapers, billboards, transit posters and more. 

I attended some research groups the other day. The first question was "have you noticed any ads recently?" and the answer came back "Apple, Apple, Apple, Apple." Always Apple.

As well as its huge media spend and undoubtedly high impact and recall, it can't be considered too shabby from a creative point of view, since it won the Cannes Grand Prix for Outdoor this year.

But amidst all the hype, one aspect of the campaign has been overlooked.

The teeny weeny size of the logo.

Running a rough ruler over it, I calculate that the logo occupies only 0.12% of the total area of the ad you see above. And yet the branding is super-clear.

Partly this is because there isn't any extraneous communication here, so there's not too much for the eye to wade through before it reaches the logo. 

But mostly it's because the whole ad is an Apple ad, not just the part where the logo appears.

As I've argued before, branding should be in an ad's DNA, not slapped onto it like the branding on a cow.

That means each ad needs to be part of a consistent brand world. This is essential for proper attribution, and so that each ad contributes cumulatively to brand image, building a coherent picture in people's minds.

Apple have used a consistently clean and minimalist style for years - they have a brand world, for sure.

But assuming your brand has that - and it isn't a cheap & cheerful one where a big logo and starbursting price are appropriate - try to stand firm the next time someone asks you to "up the branding".

You could perhaps mention that the only brand in the world which has people camping out in the street to buy its latest product, uses a logo that's just 0.12% of the ad. 


Anonymous said...

The brand (or a product indelibly associated with it) is slap bang in the headline.

Do that, and you can slap down the logo inflators.

Less is always more said...

Agreed. Applies to every ad in every medium... Less is always more.

No disclaimers, no extra offers, no URL's- these things are only clutter.

Sadly, most brands would never have this much confidence to do this.

there is a logo said...

A normal sized logo does feature and that's iPhone 6 in the headline. But, I agree with your comments.

bobthebuilder said...

There's a massive word that says Iphone 6. I don't really see your point. That's like saying Nike in a headline. Also, most of us either carry their phones in our pocket or use an ipad. So the logo is beyond well known. When it comes to say, tomato sauce, it's not something we carry around in our pockets and use every 5 seconds.

Don said...

This is not a question of logo size it is a case study on brand consistency.
Most times I have to agree with the client when they say make the logo bigger because some ego driven wanker has completely changed the way the brand communicates and then doesn't want to tell people who it's from. It is usually the case when a new campaign goes to market and the assets of the brand change somewhat.
If communication looks and feels like the brand, as this piece does, then I agree on the logo size debate.
Context is everything....

Matt said...

@bobthebuilder please go back and learn the meaning of "logo" as apposed to "typography" and familiarise yourself with the concept of client requesting to make logos bigger. Assuming you are one yourself, think about it next time... Then give yourself an uppercut.

steve said...

people ask to make the logo bigger because they dont know any better

they think making it bigger will make the communication piece work harder.

we are not selling your logo, we are selling your product/service.

ps, there is branding and a design style in this ad that is distinctly apple.

nice topic

sven said...

as a piece of analysis i'm afraid this is a D-

using Apple as an example in a marketing communications debate breaks a kind of Godwin's law- ie is like being the first person to label the other as behaving like a Nazi

this great outdoor campaign proves nothing else than one of the world's most single-minded, category-dominant, distinctive and loved personal electronics brands knows exactly what it needs to do, and not do, to make its communications effective

everybody knows the smartphone category well, has probably had an iphone at sometime and if not, knows exactly what they are

while the ads are beautifully shot and the execution clean and simple, the strategy is hardly rocket science and the idea is obvious

"hey, we are behind on camera tech and need to show the world how good the new version 6 is'

'ok, how about we take good pics with it and put them up on massive billboards?'

'yeah, people like good pics and will notice them'

'yeah, we can just put 'shot with iphone 6' on the bottom so we don't detract from the focus being on the cool image'

Scamp said...

Sven if you want to see some proper analysis, you've definitely come to the wrong place!

But I do think you were a little unfair to give me a D- on the basis that you don't like the strategy and creative idea behind this campaign, when what I was really praising about it was just the branding.

On the subject of the branding you didn't say too much, though I think you were implying that Apple can get away with minimalist branding because "everybody knows the smartphone category well" and knows exactly what an iPhone is.

Well, don't people know most categories? We all know the supermarket category well, and beer, and tyres, and car insurance, and vodka. But that doesn't stop brands in these categories employing giant logos. Most ads are for well-known products. And many are poorly branded, in my opinion, despite their big logos.

Sell! Sell! said...

The logo size debate is a symptom of a bigger problem.
The important questions are
Is it clear what the point of this ad is?
Is it clear who/what it's for?
If you're having an argument about logo size with a client, most likely it's got nothing to do with art directional niceties.
It's because it's not the right idea in the first place.