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Monday, November 23, 2009

The Little Goldfish That Could...AOL's New Branding Concept

As a marketing consultant and copywriter, I couldn't resist commenting on AOL's rebrand.

My reaction to their new brand: HUH?

I feel like I stepped back into my PR 101 class in the early 90s. You know - the 90s. It was that decade when I wore layered scrunchy socks, had permed hair and was pre-Internet.

If you missed the announcement, check out their new logos/branding.

I did not think innovative or creative (or 21st century, for that matter) when I first saw the logos.

Here's my review on the logos:

  • Does Aol. (yes, they decided to use lower case letters) realize that the goldfish dies quickly and is a fairly disposable fish? I know a few families who buried or flushed a few dozen goldfish down the toilet. Hmmm, a goldfish - not so much.
  • The crazy looking logo with the random heads looks like someone took a few hits of an illegal substance and then drew their hallucinations. Sorry, Aol, just not feeling the creative vibe. It does bring out my ADHD and makes me feel jumpy. Way to go, Aol.
  • Sign language for a logo? Hasn't that already been done? Like a few million times? It reminds me of a Benetton or Esprit ad from the "old days."
  • Blue wave thingie - looks like a tsunami and reminds me of hurricane weather (not a good image for people who live in hurricane regions)
  • Purple brainy, fleshy anemone graphic - That just looks LAME!
  • Green Etch-a-Sketch logo - Didn't color splash designs become extinct in the 80s?
What about the new brand name? Let's take a closer look.

Aol. Yup, that's it. Aol dot. It just looks weird now.

I read a few articles about their "creative" new branding, and one comment sums it up perfectly. The person commented that the new name looks very similar to "A-hole." Hmm, something to think about, Aol.

I wonder how much money AOL invested in market research. Not enough, in my opinion.

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