Saturday, November 27, 2010

Airtel Rebranding

Last week, Airtel announced a re-branding move and unveiled it's new logo and signature tune. The new logo is supposed to represent "a dynamic force of unparalleled energy", and the new tune is again, composed by A.R. Rahman.

In case you hadn't noticed, here are the old and new logos:

Personally, I don't think much of the new logo. According to Airtel guys, it's supposed to be a variation of the lower case 'a'. I do like the font for the "airtel" text (although at first, I thought it looked like the Ubuntu font). I think it looks quite terrible and too abstract to mean anything.

The lower-case letters in the logo text is supposed to indicate humility - something Pioneer tried in 1998:

And, then there's the regular bullshit about dynamism, energy, youth etc. etc. According to Airtel's Sunil Mittal:

"... unique symbol is an interpretation of the ‘a’ in airtel. The curved shape & the gentle highlights on the red color make it warm & inviting, almost as if it were a living object. It represents a dynamic force of unparalleled energy that brings us and our customers closer"

The Internet is already buzzing with negative feedback on the new logo. People have already spotted the similarity to the new Videocon logo.

However, some of the negative feedback should be attributed to the general resistance to change. Here's a site that aims to track the discussions going around the Internet about the whole re-branding business.

But the logo doesn't come close to the new signature tune by A.R. Rahman. The old one, composed by Rahman himself, had become extremely popular - even surpassing the then familiar Titan or Britannia tunes (these tunes have sadly almost slid in to oblivion). Although I wasn't a big fan of the old one, I find the new one to be worse. Rahman fans might be quick to point out that I'll start to like it after I've heard it for the 900th time.

Honestly, I don't know what to make out of it. It sounds more like some African piece. No idea how this relates to Airtel or it's business. Perhaps they wanted to create something that'd appeal to their South African market. The piece by itself is fun to listen to, but it doesn't sound like a signature tune. It's too long and at least to me, is indecipherable. Also, I couldn't help noticing a hint of the Ketchup Song in that music.

I'm of the opinion that signature tunes must be short, simple and easily recognizable. Humming the tune shouldn't require perfect vocal cords or a formal degree in music. Remember how quickly DoCoMo became popular?

Anyway, let's see how this works out for Airtel..

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