Lions for logos. Branding cases from Cannes Lions

The fashion house Burberry has recently revealed its bold new logo, once again proving the fashion industry’s unflagging zeal for experimenting with graphic marks. For decades now, fashion companies have not only been giving their logotypes a meaning of status and prominence but also portraying them humorously or even removing completely from their products.

In their latest Fall/Winter collections, Prada, Luis Vuitton, or Versace have all applied hyperbolization and are even emanating with logotypes, once again pushing the boundaries of good taste.

Different kinds of experiments with logotypes are oftentimes the focal point of some PR campaigns, and the deconstruction of graphic marks is one of the most visible trends in this year’s Cannes Lions projects. Companies representing different industries, not only fashion, are doing this right now, treating their logotypes as the media for important messages.

Here are 4 examples of my favorite PR campaigns with logotypes playing the lead:

DIESEL

Awarded in many categories, not only PR-related, this campaign is aimed against the market for fake designer clothes. Diesel assumed it must fight this war using the same weapons as its enemies and created a knock-off out of its own product – the “DEISEL” logo. DEISEL’s collection available in a pop-up store during the NYC fashion week sold out within 24 hours, while on the internet, the products became a precious loot for many fashion victims. 400 million mentions around the world highlighting the problem of knock-offs is an impressive outcome.

Lacoste

If a polo shirt without the iconic green crocodile on the left is just some regular polo shirt, then such a shirt with a green rhino in place of the crocodile becomes a manifest of support for endangered species. As part of the campaign inaugurating a 3-year collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Lacoste created 10 new polo shirts, the number of which available for each animal is equal to the number of that species left in the wild – from 350 to 30… The line features 1,775 polo shirts in total, which sold out almost immediately, feeding the accounts of the organization that fights to preserve the endangered species. More importantly, however, with all the promotion, the number of donors supporting the engendered species increased 4 times!

McDonald’s

As the chain boasts, 60% of their restaurant owners in the US are women. No wonder they decided to celebrate the International Women’s Day by boldly flipping the iconic golden arches upside down on signs, packaging, and digital media in quite a symbolic and bold way. This way, their logo, standing as an “M”, have been flipped upside down to become a “W”. It’s a “How is it possible no one has thought of that before?” kind of idea, which received much publicity in the earned media channel.

KFC

A situation where British KFC outlets cannot serve fried chicken at first glance already seems like quite a crisis to handle. What do you do when you can’t resume deliveries fast and pissed off customers don’t want to wait, expressing their frustration and disappointment all over the internet? As always in similar situations, it’s worth going for simple solutions, relying on authenticity and additionally – which not many companies can actually do – seasoning all this with a pinch of comedy and showing you can laugh at yourself. Going for exactly this kind of strategy, KFC published a sincere and brief apology in national media and changed its logotype to read “FCK”. No wonder this campaign won at Cannes in the Crisis & Issue Management Category. It’s also one of my personal favorites.


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