Monday, April 4, 2011

New logo: Ivar's seafood, April Fools?

This year saw some great rebrand hoaxes, for example Brand New's Home Depot rebrand. One rebrand which was presented on April 1 is however yet to be retracted.

Ivar's is a regional seafood restaurant chain based in Seattle, Washington. They have long used a logo with the name written in cursive, with a wavy line extending from the I to underline the name. Last Friday, they presented a new logo which removes the name, leaving only the wavy line and the tagline "Since 1938".

Now, what speaks against this being a permanent rebrand? For starters, Ivar's are known in Seattle for elaborate marketing stunts. Ivar's is also based in the same city as Starbucks, who made similar rebrand earlier this year when they removed the company name from their logo. They have even posted an image of historical paper cups standing in line, just as Starbucks did back in January. The press release is crammed with marketing speak about "embracing change and being fluid", "adapting as a brand" and "evolving forward".

Another press release gem is the following quote from Seth Godfin (!), "world-renowned brand strategiest" from Gotcha Creative & Branding:
Ivar's is taking a risk by dropping its synonymous cursive company name from their logo, but our extensive research showed people simply don't read as much as they used to, especially cursive, given people's tendency to text and microblog -- it was no longer relevant.
One thing which speaks against this being a hoax is the fact that the minimalist logo still adorns the Ivar's website. Generally, you retract an April Fools joke on April 2.

"Previous" logo.

Ivar's paper cups.
Starbucks' paper cups.

Ivar's website (archive)
Press release (archive)
Facebook photo

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