Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Did Social Media Kill the GAP Logo?

That was what a co-worker asked a group of us ad industry types via e-mail. And after much thought and deliberation, here's my response:

Of course SM killed that abomination of a logo! Expect #GapLogo to be a trending topic in the month of October. FWIW, it’s loosely rumored that they used a poorly designed logo to generate press in an attempt to make their brand somewhat relevant again. Seriously . . . when was the last time anyone talked about GAP until now?

The good thing about Social Media is that everyone has a voice and they can interact with their favorite brands in real time. However, with this increased interaction comes increased pressure on brands to get it right the first time when introducing a new logo or product (Crystal Clear Pepsi and New Coke would’ve been hung out to dry in the social media landscape of 2010).

Now, the real danger to brands is the spoof Twitter accounts. After the GAP logo was introduced, there were about 3 or 4 fake GAP accounts that made fun of the brand and the new logo. These accounts have a comparable number of followers to the actual GAP account. So which ‘brand’ really has the larger microphone? These spoof accounts create a delicate situation that can easily take away from a brand’s credibility while undercutting their core message.

Remember the BP PR issue during the summer when the faux Twitter account had scads more followers than the real company? It earned the fake account a nice cease and desist letter that was immediately ignored. That was awesome.

Expect to see more spoof accounts with a larger number of followers than real companies . . . that seems to be the most popular way to voice displeasure over just about anything.

Brands beware!

1 comment:

  1. The new Gap logo might not have been great, but generally speaking, people got their panties in a twist over nothing. The blowback was a product of this social media age where people have an over-inflated sense of importance. For the most part Tweeters were riding the bandwagon in spouting off on a new logo.

    The same thing happened with Pepsi's recent rebrand. And y'know what? After a year of looking at that awkward evil-eye logo people have for the most part forgotten about it. The only difference between the two is that Gap was all-to-willing to cave to the bad revues. Which is a good sign that the corporate powers-that-be weren't completely sold on the logo themselves.

    If Pepsi has taught me anything it's that consumers really don't give a flip what you're logo looks like. It's overall brand awareness that counts.

    Another good example of logo apathy is Wal-Mart. Their new logo is an asterisk, or an anus depending on how much Vonnegut you've read. The company bought into the new look whole-heartedly before releasing it to the rabid pack of wolves that is their customer-base. So, who cares if the logo is ugly, Wal-Mart still sells cheap shit and creeps me out immensely. Their look changed, the brand didn't.

    This wasn't a victory for the power of social media.