Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Know Logos.

The truly staggering press release that accompanied the London 2012 Olympics logo launch tried to tell people what to think.

They hadn't seen my old favourite - Joey Katzen's logo game which shows how little logos actually register.


They certainly hadn't anticipated the unfortunate epilepsy incidents when they wrote this,

The new emblem is dynamic, modern and flexible reflecting a brand savvy world where people, especially young people, no longer relate to static logos but respond to a dynamic brand that works with new technology and across traditional and new media networks.

And they were surely tempting fate by adding

It will become London 2012's visual icon, instantly recognisable amongst all age groups, all around the world. It will establish the character and identity of the London 2012 Games and what the Games will symbolise nationally and internationally.

Seth Godin's terrific characterisation of a logo as "a placeholder, a label waiting to earn some meaning" is absolutely on the money. It also seems to me to be applicable to the underlying product/service itself.

You create something remarkable and, if it truly is remarkable, then your users and audience will ascribe a portfolio of values to it.

You make marketing history the old fashioned way. You earn it.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Marcus @ Culturemaking said...

Hi John

Nice to meet you.

Whilst there's no doubting that logos earn meaning over time (mainly through product/service experience), I still think it's important to bear in mind that logos come semiotically loaded from inception i.e. it’s impossible to generate a completely meaning-neutral representation (or blank canvas).

I suppose it's rather like meeting a real person (and I'm certainly not alluding to the relationship metaphor thingy here). Before you get to know them you are bound to stereotypes, previous experience and a web of relational meaning - as much as one tries to suspend judgment (e.g. literal and connotational semantic meanings, colours, shapes, styles, fashions, resemblance to other words/images in popular culture etc.). But then as one gets to know the product properly, though experience, it then goes on to reframe and potentially override your original preconceptions.

So, whilst a logo is hardly all-out deterministic, I still think there's quite a vast range of placeholders so to speak. And that different placeholders might be more or less helpful to different products, categories, consumers and cultural contexts.

4:54 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger john dodds said...

I suppose that is true Marcus, but the sheer quantity of logoes and new product launches militates against that degree of desconstruction by the typical consumer.

1:02 AM, June 08, 2007  

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