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digging for gold in a pile of trash

Aol. …maybe they know what they’re doing…

I just finished reading an article on Fast Company’s website.  I questioned AOL’s new branding strategy in a previous post, thinking that they were maybe going in too many directions while they attempt to reestablish their place in the fast-paced online world. Well, this article included some questions and answers from those responsible for this crazy new brand. Random images of everyday objects, people, plants and scenery behind the background-colored logo. Video ads of random moving images with the logo appearing as they pass by, not really explaining anything. But it’s about the feeling that it evokes, though I think they could have done better. After a while is just begins to all look the same, rather than giving the viewer the impression that Aol. is for everybody and everything.

But after reading this article, I’m starting to think that they may know what they’re doing. It’s not about grabbing the customer after single viewing of a commercial, but it’s about a longer term relationship that will develop as the customer interacts with the brand. They will give customer’s the opportunity to create their own personal logo, uploading their own photos and images. Customer’s will begin to interact and connect with the logo in a personal way. And it sounds like that’s just the beginning (I hope so, because that alone won’t grow into a long-term relationship). Will it work? Will it be effective? Who knows, but, if anything, they will end up pushing the boundaries in the way branding is done, giving more design opportunity to the customer. It’s the social networking age of branding, so why not move design in that direction as well?

Quote from the article:
“Wait. Has AOL just created the first completely user-contributed, 100% flexible, invisible logo? Where all that matters is what animates around it?”

Read full article >

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