Oldham murders owl with whalesong
Spunks £100k on 'circle of unity' logo
LogoWatch Oldham Council has failed to follow its own motto - "Sapere Aude", or "dare to be wise" in the local dialect - and has spunked £100k on a couple of circles and its own name.
Yup, the consultants behind the radical rebrand must have worn out a few whalesong CDs brainstorming their way to the new brand frontage for the municipality, seen here without the additional inspirational and synergistic "one" which will be added selectively to the word "Oldham" under a thrilling "One Oldham" banner.
Liz Terry, director for strategy and resources, inhaled deeply on a joss-stick and said: "Branding is about managing a reputation and what we have been hearing from people is some out-of-date, negative views about Oldham as a place and as a council. So we felt we needed to do something about that.
"The main picture that people will see is a circle. It's a circle of unity, it's about oneness, it's about saying, 'We're about many places but one destination,' for example."
In case you're wondering where the dead owl comes into it, the cuddly creature is the town's symbol - now relegated to the traditional crest where it'll be exiled with the "Sapere Aude" words of wisdom.
According to the Beeb, the locals are not all that impressed with the new image, due to be rolled out over the next few weeks. One unnamed woman told Auntie: "Owls are the symbol of Oldham so I would have thought if they put an owl in the middle of there it would be better." ®
I'm alright Jack - it ain't my money
Dear oh dear,
I run a good marketing and advertising agency and have made numerous appearances on national radio talking about strategic marketing, advertising and branding design.
I've worked extensively at board level with public sector organistions and conulsted for Government departments and I can tell you this for nothing:
1. There are many good employees in the public sector, however most of the decisions are made by ditheres who prefer to consult with committes and play it safe.
2. Public sector organisations such as Oldham Council normally only do things when things are going wrong.
3. They always think that a new logo is the answer to a poor image or unhappy residents.
4. Because the money comes from taxpayers, they don't care how much things cost. Also, because they like to play it safe, they choose the very large agencies whose operating costs are in the region of £20+ per day. Whilst these agencies are excellent for the likes of Shell, BP and Coca Cola, Oldham Council isn't a brand which has good brand equity, therefore rather than slash their wasteful spending and invest it into improving services for the community, they think that doing something which is immediatly visible is going to help the area financially and make the residents of Oldham happy in the process.
5. They obviously underestimate the average hard working resident in the area and think that their views don't matter.
6. In choosing their winning logo concept, they have obviously played safe and then made some crazy story up about the meaning of the logo - our agency view, like most others is that if you have to tell people what a logo means, you've done it wrong.
7. The bottom line is that many people will say that it's a target, a target to ridicule the people of oldham, whose views they have clearly ignored and whose money they have squandered on developing a logo.
8. The average agency cost for developing a good logo is anywhere betwwn £1,000 - £10,000, dependent on the brief and what is required. I have conducted market research about the cost of logo development and the results are that generally speaking, that there is no correlation between the average logo spend and the quality of the logo -it's a fact. If Oldam had an international brand like Manchester or Liverpool and had a thriving tourism industry, perhaps they would make their money back on their development.
My advice to any public sector employee with a work problem is to look at sorting the problem, rather than using the dog tactic of marking your own territory by developing something which you can say 'was my idea'. Nobody cares about whose idea it is except for your parents or children - just stop wasting public money resorting to doing things which attract criticism because in the private sector, this is the kind of thing which ends peoples careers. I don't live in Oldham but I do feel sorry for the council tax payers who are having to stump up the cash to pay for this.
Maybe they've struck a deal with this outfit:
Like these folks did:
>inhaled deeply on a joss stick
I do believe she just might have been inhaling something else.
PH, cos she most definitely does not need rebranding.