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Terrifying outbreak of rebranding madness in France

Corporate Black Death now out of control?

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LogoWatch

That Total logo in full

Our

story earlier this week

about a serious outbreak of rebranding madness in Spain has clearly failed to alert French authorities as to the seriousness of the threat. Chillingly, it may already be too late.

Oil monolith Total - the new front for merged Total, Elf and Fina - displays all the classic symptoms of having being in close proximity to members of a Strategy Boutique bearing invariably-fatal Powerpoint presentations:

The logo’s spherical shape suggests both the Earth and the international scope of our business. Constructed from a set of colored, curving lines, it symbolizes the diversity and complexity of an ever-changing world.

The logo’s colors symbolize multiple energies. The colors chosen naturally evoke the idea of heat. The intersecting curving lines convey an impression of movement. The combination suggests concentrated, controlled energies serving heat, light and movement.

The logo is airy and light, signifying that energy is more than just a natural resource, but the product of humankind’s ingenuity and exchanges. The fluid font uses "stick" characters with rounded angles and ends to convey our ability to listen and take into account the human factor. The uppercase letters emphasize the brand’s stature. The smaller letters after the initial T add movement and life, strengthening the feeling of openness.


Really? Well, to our mind the spherical shape also suggests something else: a right load of old cobblers. Speaking of which, Total has picked up a nasty secondary musical infection symptomised by an outbreak of the jingles. Deploy your stethoscope at the company's

Flashtastic multi-media rebranding experience

.



According to Bruno Coulais, the composer of this masterpiece: "The music I composed for Total is built on a very simple theme, which flows from one music stand to the other. Through a brisk orchestration and rhythm, I strived to color it with both an epic dimension and a feeling of space, almost immensity. The idea of movement, of energy on the move, as well as the search for a simple emotion drove my work."

Yeah, right on brother. But it gets worse. If Total's own errant nonsense about its logo wasn't enough, they then let designer Laurent Vincenti fire up the joss-sticks:

The new Total logo is based on visual components that best embody the Group. It is built around the idea of rotation, an elemental movement shared by wheels, the Earth, steering wheels and wind turbines. Rotation adds a sense of dynamic movement, which makes the logo very contemporary, adding life to static computer screens or video presentations.

The new logo has layers of meaning. Its three multicolored, moving energy streams bring to mind the range of energy resources, the environment, interaction, research, optimism and flexibility.

Incidentally, the new logo drew itself one night when I couldn’t sleep. This image of a virtual globe made up of interlaced streams of energy just popped up out of nowhere.


What do you mean it just popped out of nowhere? Interlaced streams of energy? Elemental movement? You've been at the absinthe again, haven't you Laurent? Btw, we can think of another rotational movement: that of the revolving doors at Total HQ as you and everyone else responsible for this astonishing clap-trap are dragged into the street and beaten senseless by baton-wielding members of the

Académie Française

. ®



Bootnote

We thank the vigilant Raphaël Mazoyer for alerting the authorities to this new, deadly outbreak.

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