WPP is the largest advertising company in the world. Turning a ship of this magnitude is no easy challenge, so the rebranding needed to be bang on.
WPP is an advertising holding company, employing over 130,000 people across 112 countries and generating around £20bn per year in revenue. WPP has seen some serious restructuring recently, brought in by a new CEO. They have also had some media controversy with their outgoing CEO, which they were looking to distance themselves from.
With the new future of WPP taking shape, they sent a clear signal of change to their clients by rebranding.
This is not a simple undertaking as the whole advertising world will be scrutinising every element and various cultures across the world will critique it in different ways.
Superunion and Landor
It was tasked to Superunion and Landor to create the new identity. They describe it as representing "WPP as a creative transformation company that is dynamic, connected and organised around the needs of its clients.
The logo is made up of many parts that combine to form the whole – a representation of WPP’s people, agencies, capabilities and markets that work together as one for clients."
The new augmented look is designed to play in varying environments and colour palettes to show how the agency network can adapt to clients and industry challenges.
The dots that make up the logo are used as organic abstract patterns that flow, pulsate and interact with each other in a very organic way. They change size and colour while jostling in a non-predictive manner. It creates a nice effect that can be presented in a variety of angles, colours and clarity, while still maintaining a consistent visual style across platforms.
Adaptive & dynamic
The dots and colours have the advantage of being able to be used statically or animated. The flexibity of colours and movement means they have a lot of scope to implement them creatively across any media.
The previous WPP branding always seemed a bit safe and generic. Given the creativity involved in many of their client projects, it seemed they were trying to hide their own branding and bring the client's branding to the forefront. It is understandable why they went with this approach, but it does lack a bit of bravery. The new branding brings WPP up-to-date and will make them appear more approachable and relevant on social media.
The flexibility of the new branding should allow WPP to evolve it as their needs change for the foreseeable future. It will be a brand that will be recognised throughout the world by every advertising agency.
Although the idea of a grid of dots is not revolutionary in itself, it does work well for the changes and restructuring that will be brought to WPP over the coming years. It will be interesting to see how it evolves and just how many agencies start to copy aspects of their branding.
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