Tuesday, May 30, 2006

To du or Etisalat?

It is a bit like ‘The Black Eyed Peas’ arriving where Westlife has been singing ‘Seasons in the Sun’ for 25 years. Not a revolution but a welcome change nevertheless in the UAE telecom sector from a company whose greatest innovation was to paint telephone cards in green and red besides its commitment to rescue us from nefarious websites like MySpace, Flickr and Babelfish Translation(something to do with fishy babes perhaps?) .

The start couldn’t have been better for du, atleast in terms of branding but it is highly unlikely that it will cause a price war between the two and the customer benefiting out of it. The simple but interesting name - du, minus the gimmicks and their message of being ‘friendly’, ‘honest’ and ‘service-oriented’ is everything what Etisalat is not.

Etisalat must be feeling a little edgy, so much that they felt they needed a new identity. It is still early days to judge how it will work for them assuming they will not change their overall approach. But my first impression was that that ‘reach’ is not going to help Etisalat much in the long run.

Open Adobe Illustrator -> Choose a nice shape from a downloaded shape library - > Distort the shape -> Choose 2 colours from the ‘youthful’ colour palette -> Ask the copywriter to write two paragraphs of bullshit about the logo and bingo you got an identity. There are agencies which does research, put some thought and then ask the designer to work on a logo based on their inferences. There are others which ask the designers to make a ‘nice looking’ logo and then ask the copywriter to give an explanation to the design. It is obvious who took each of these approaches.

All credit to Turquoise (And not Leo Burnett, as I thought previously) in executing a fantastic branding idea while in their typical dodgy fashion Etisalat has failed to identify their creative agency in the press release where they claim "The new identity reflects Etisalat's values of transparency, optimism, openness, simplicity and reliability. The green colour in the logo signifies life, growth and renewal. Green is the national colour of the UAE, and Etisalat has a long and close association with its home nation- the UAE."
Transparency and openness for god's sake.
FYI: in case you are interested, the Etisalat rebranding was done by Fortune Promoseven in association with Rareform London
(after a four-way pitch against JWT, Impact BBDO and Team Y&R in April). Looks like Fp7's new creative director Marc Lineveldt, who joined the agency last month after leaving Team Y&R will have lots of challenges ahead of him.


Blogger ScottyFerguson said...

Advertising is a sick world. I feel terrible for people who have to work in life-sucking talent holes like Leo-Burnout and Young-Rubmeup . It ages them before their time. FCB seem to chew and spit execs on a daily basis. Its a horrible circle to be in. I'd rather be incarcerated.

8:44 am  
Blogger Dubai-Informer said...

hey, i live here in dubai and i cant await for "du" to start. Etisalat has no clue what customer service means. I am happy to pay a bit more if i get at least a bit of a service.
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6:25 pm  

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