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Capgemini succumbs to rebranding madness

Whalesong, joss-sticks, synergy, thrust

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That Capgemini logo in fullLogoWatch We have just received word of a nasty outbreak of whalesong-driven rebranding madness at none other than Capgemini, the artist formerly known as Capgemini, Ernst, Young, Cuthbert, Dibble & Grubb - or something like that.

Yup, the Strategy Boutiques have been hard at it, and there is more than a suggestion of joss-stick scented flip-chart presentations about the company's breathtaking new identity.

Apparently, it's all about "collaboration"; not the kind which involves grassing up the Maquis to the Gestapo, but rather the sort of corporate group hugging in which highly-trained operatives get busy with "Targeting Value, Mitigating Risk, Optimizing Capabilities and Aligning the Organization".

Capgemini: Targeting ValueThe title for this four-pronged attack on the corporate paradigm is the "Collaborative Business Experience". As CEO Paul Hermelin puts it: "Collaboration is not something you can teach employees in a day course, it's part of a company's culture and DNA."

This may be true. Sadly, though, Capgemini's DNA also includes an unpleasant double-recessive gene which means that if the company mates with an advertising agency carrying the same gene, there is a one-in-four chance of the result being total cobblers. This would certainly explain the bastard offspring of Capgemini's liaison with Olivier Moulierac, head of Euro RSCG C&O Creative Department, who explains the company's rebrand advertising extravangaza thus:

The very soul of the new Capgemini is not simply its role as a provider of corporate consulting and business services but as a true collaborator with its clients. As the simplicity and directness of its logo underscores, it seeks relationships built on openness and trust. To reflect this evolution, the presentation of the brand had to be straight-forward and obvious - in other words, a true reflection of the core values of the company. It is a unique position in the field of corporate consulting and services, and our creative approach to the campaign is built on this double axis. It is both contemporary and sincere, and it shuns the standard images of stardom so often seen in today's advertising world.

Evolution, core values, double axis - it's all horribly familiar. But if you're tempted to feel sorry for the hapless Capgemini clients who have read this nonsense, then spare a thought for the company's employees, who were recently treated to this synergy-boosting, evolutionary vision:

The Collaborative Business Experience label has been designed to act as a quality label, a guarantee of our collaborative way of working with our clients, our commitment to mutual success and tangible value. To all of us it will be a leitmotiv, a sign of our shared commitment to embody the Collaborative Business Experience. It is not a substitute to the Group logo but a seal, a stamp of approval that will become an element in our new visual identity.

Leitmotiv? You must be bloody joking. ®

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