A billboard for Shaw caught my eye the other day. I noticed the font had changed and there was a broken parentheses. I thought to myself, ‘I hope that’s not their new branding’.
Sure enough, it is.
Founded in 1971, Shaw provides broadband cable television, Internet, VoIP phone service, and satellite direct-to-home services. They have 3.4 million customers and is the fourth in the telecom business in Canada behind giants Bell, Rogers, and Telus.
Their logo was last designed in 1998 and the new logo is supposed to be a reboot of the iconic Shaw elements; the font is intended to be friendlier and softer, and the swoosh replaced by a bracket which, the company says, is to resemble a pipe , as well as a happy face ala SMS interpretation. The pipe reference is something Shaw has been trying to identity with for over a decade; their business services arm was called Big Pipe until 2006, when they simplified it to just Shaw Business.
Logos and design work should be revisited at least once a decade, so this is fine.
However, Shaw wasn’t content with just changing their font and replacing a swoosh with a bracket. They wanted mascots.
Upon last week’s relaunch of their branding, Shaw introduced two new mascots; Bud (who represents “the 40-year cable veteran” like the company itself) and Bit (the newbie who is introduced to the company’s offerings, along with the viewer). The mascots is just the beginning. Shaw plans on introducing a series of other characters, each relating to one of their service offerings; a sort of product characterization.
The new creative strategy was handled by Vancouver-based agency Rethink.