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NZ army reels under rebranding frontal assault

Vicious hand-to-hand fighting over corporate image

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LogoWatch Hot on the heels of our report yesterday regarding an acute case of rebranding madness in Taiwan, we discover that the infection has already spread to the Antipodes.

Evidently, not even New Zealand's battle-hardened grunts are sufficiently well-armed to fight off this threat to national security, despite calling in a tactical reserve of politicos to help repel the enemy at the gate.

That new NZ army logo in full

The striking new image is attracting heavy fire from NZ's National Party, who rejected the suggestion that the old logo (Motto:

Kiwis Armed to Make a Difference

) did not adequately reflect the army's changing role in society.

National Party Defence spokesman Simon Power called the decision "ridiculous" and attacked Defence Minister Mark Burton for suggesting that "the new brand would give New Zealanders 'familiarity, security and trust' in the Army".

Still, the new badge cost a mere $24,000 - that's a lot of bangs for your bucks in rebranding terms - and the focus-group-driven makeover gurus responsible for it threw in the traditional checklist of pseudosymbolism as part of the package:

  • New logo communicates teamwork and unity

  • Red: reflects the ideas of tradition, respect and loyalty

  • Black and white: colours with which all New Zealanders identify

  • The Ngati Tumatauenga name: shows the Army's respect for Maori culture and gives it a uniquely New Zealand character

  • Silver fern: symbolises national pride

Mercifully, you cannot yet enjoy this pictorial representation of "tradition, respect and loyalty" on the army's website where the old crest continues to hold its ground.

A quick poll of the Vulture Central focus group revealed that the embattled veteran, featuring a sword, taiaha, crown and lion - is more than adequate to represent the NZ army's brand frontage. Here's what it says to us at El Reg:

  • Lion: We're as hard as bloody nails

  • Sword and taiaha: We're armed to the teeth

  • Crown: If you so much as think about despoiling the set of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King we'll chop your ears off and turn them into a pouch for chewing tobacco

There you go: that's the sort of spirit we need to to contain the global spread of rebranding madness. In the words of the reader who first sounded the air-raid warning on this threat to humanity: "Maybe a way forward would be to sent the New Zealand Army to kill all marketing executives with job titles that nobody understands, for example; Strategic Marketing Focus Co-ordinator." Excellent. Where do we sign up? ®

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