Harker Research: The Tale of Two Logos
June 5, 2008 at 5:35 AM (PT)
On their website, HARKER RESEARCH blogs about 2 current radio marketing campaigns, one from THE NAB -- the other from CBS RADIO. A few weeks ago CBS RADIO Chief Executive DAN MASON hit the road pitching CBS RADIO's initiatives to reinvigorate radio. The roadshow included a new logo (Upper Left). Contrast the CBS "Rethink Radio" logo with the NAB's "Radio Heard Here" logo (Lower Left). HARKER writes:
Both logos are designed to fire up people about radio. To sell radio to those who feel radio is old fashion, out of touch, and irrelevant. Which logo does a better job of doing that?
Radio Heard Here is passive. It states the obvious without offering any unique benefit. Radio is heard here if you have a radio. But so is an iPod, streaming, satellite, and anything else you happen to have with you. The lightning-bolt-like arrows give the logo a dated look. The look invokes the feel of a Great Depression (or Bolshevik RUSSIA) poster. The typestyle is something out of the 1950s. Combine all the pieces and you have a logo that does just the opposite of what you hope to accomplish. It reinforces the negative impressions that people already have about radio. Radio Heard Here is a marketing disaster.
Contrast that with Rethink Radio. The logo is active. It is a call to action. Not only that, it says exactly what we need to be saying to listeners and media buyers: Rethink Radio. The logo is much more contemporary. The head is highly stylized--something you would find in a hip magazine. The lower case type-style reinforces the contemporary feel of the ad and works well with the head. All the pieces work well together to make it a compelling logo.
The people behind Rethink Radio clearly understand what needs to be done visually to create a campaign to reinvigorate radio. The people behind Radio Heard Here clearly do not. The NAB should approach DAN MASON and ask permission to use the concept and logo -- and then ask to hire the people who created it. It is Radio 2020's only hope.