“South Australia!”… still changing logo

In National Headlines, South Australia

Comment: Veronica Hope

An expensive exercise in admin is continuing over South Australia’s replacement logo. Despite award-winning campaigns under the ‘Brilliant Blend’ brand, and a decade of the Brilliant Blend’s strong associations with food and wine, design competitions to in SA are continuing to distract bureacrats and the public from core tourism functions.

It’s well-known that advertisers and marketers new to a brand desire to change the brand to make their mark… but at what cost to the tourism industry?

From Adelaide Now

T was worth $1.3 million, and hyped for months. SA’s new brand was announced amid fanfare – but many people really didn’t like it.

The new logo generated a huge reaction on adelaidenow and across social media.

Comedian and host of advertising and branding TV program The Gruen Transfer, Wil Anderson, says that love it or hate it, our logo essentially doesn’t matter.

The comic – in town to perform at the Adelaide Fringe – compared the new logo with “an origami Pope hat” but added that it’s not an image that will draw people to a place.

“Here’s the good news – logos don’t matter,” Anderson said.

SA brand

South Australia’s new brand logo.

“It’s overpriced and overcharged and no one ever has gone to a state based on their logo.

“No one cares about a logo, it’s ridiculous. But this one is particularly crap.”

Anderson – who is considered a brand aficionado having hosted ABC-TV’s The Gruen Transfer alongside advertising industry heavyweights Todd Sampson and Russel Howcroft since 2008 – wasted no time in criticising the design and Tasmania’s omission.

“I’m sorry South Australia but do you really want a logo where your part of Australia is a hole?” he said. “It’s like the tiny doorway from Willy Wonka – that’s what it looks like.

“Obviously as a tribute to the Pope leaving they’ve made his hat the logo for South Australia.

“I saw it in the paper this morning and thought … it’s like if people were saying ‘the Pope has retired and as a promotion The Advertiser has got your own origami pope hat you can make’ – that’s what it is.”

Anderson – who is performing in the Garden of Unearthly Delights until March 17 – called into question the $1.4 million budget spent on the logo.

“I hate when they spend this much money on these advertising w***ers,” he said on radio.

Earlier on Thursday, the man behind SA’s old Brilliant Blend logo said the new brand was a “lost opportunity”.

And the designer of the new brand said we would all eventually love it.

As the Opposition says they wouldn’t drop the new brand if they won government, Ken Cato, the Melbourne-based designer of the new ‘door-map’ brand, said he expected people to “dump on” it at first.

From Adelaide Now – 12th February 2013

THERE will be no words to describe a re-branded South Australia – just a slick new logo.

Previous slogans have promised things such as a “brilliant blend” or a “gateway to the Outback” but SA’s new brand will rely solely on a logo to sell the state.

Details of the news design are closely guarded but it was presented to Cabinet on Monday.

Premier Jay Weatherill will reveal the final product in an after-dark sound and light projection in Elder Park on March 6 that will be open to the public.

The team behind the brand, led by the Economic Development Board, decided not to pair the logo with a slogan to prevent it becoming rapidly out of date, and to ensure it could be used across government and the private sector in fields such as business, tourism and education.

The project budget will be revealed after it is launched. It is understood the money will come from existing budgets in such agencies as the Tourism Commission.

SA Tourism Commission marketing director David O’Loughlin said taglines were risky because they were often too limiting or open to misinterpretation.

“For example `SA: a brilliant blend’ to many people meant wine, but it was actually intended to mean a brilliant blend of experiences,” he said. “If you don’t limit it to words, it’s people’s own imagination you’re appealing to.”

Mr O’Loughlin said brands based on simple design without a slogan were more recognisable and meaningful over time.

Mr Weatherill called for a new brand for the state during a trade mission to London in May, to clear up confusion about SA’s location and what it has to offer.

“Too often, people are unaware of where South Australia is,” he said.

“This brand will help South Australia be noticed in a way that sets us apart from other places.”

Leaders of business, local government, community organisations and the media will this week receive invitations to the official launch in a marquee in Elder Park.

Mr Weatherill said it was important South Australians embraced the new brand and he encouraged people to join the public launch at Elder Park. A seven-minute audio-visual production will screen after 9pm and will be repeated on following nights.

Brand project leader Darren Thomas said most people who saw the brand – which has been designed by internationally recognised branding expert Ken Cato – would “get it straight away”, but conceded others may be sceptical or uninterested.

The team has urged the public not to judge too quickly and to instead try to understand its meaning.

Mr O’Loughlin said while SA had “some great icons”, such as the Barossa Valley or the Fringe Festival, the brand did not focus on one in particular but was intended to portray SA as a creative, innovative and “can do” place.

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