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Social media plays a key role in promoting road safety

We all know just how powerful social media can be. It has the ability of spreading a message, positive or not, in a matter of seconds. But what about when we consider sensitive or serious messages? Is it a good medium to use to address these issues, or is it just opening the flood gates to abuse even when a brand or organisation means well? This morning, I’ve read two news items about how organisations in the UK and USA have used advertising and social media to help promote the importance of road safety. One, I assume, will be received well by the public. However, the other has already suffered huge backlash as opposers take to the social-sphere to rant their concerns. Let’s delve a little deeper.

The Isle of Man’s Constabulary has today launched this year’s TT road safety campaign, which will see social media take the lead in helping to deliver key messages during the festival. Using its Twitter feed, @tweetbeatIOM, the organisation will provide a mixture of up-to-date information about road safety and traffic updates using #SafeSummerRidingIOM, #ShareTheRoadIOM and #IOMTT. The campaign builds on its poster campaign from previous years which aims to reduce the number of accidents that occur during the festival. We’ll definitely keep an eye on this one and see how it pans out.


Now, when it comes to billboard advertising we have seen a few hiccups. Firstly there was the Hell Pizza angora coated billboard which was launched to promote the New Zealand company’s Easter special. We can all be sure that one didn’t go down to well with animal right activists.



And then there was this billboard fail. Need I say anymore?


But the Colorado Department of Transportation is already getting backlash for a seemingly innocent billboard campaign. To promote seatbelt safety, the CDOT put up billboards with partial information to tease out its messages, featuring phrases like, “Life or Death”, “Brain Damage” and “Windshield Ejection”. Yesterday afternoon, a seatbelt was added, covering up the second word of each phrase with the strapline, “Buckle Up. Seatbelt Enforcement Is On.”


Over the weekend, before the seatbelt was added, the CDOT posted a picture of the advertising on its Facebook page, asking its audience to keep an eye out and what they thought about it. Hello open flood gates. Within minutes there was an uproar. People seemed to think that instead of investing in this poor advertising, the CDOT should have spent the money on repairing the roads and potholes – which cause accidents! Others questioned the use of billboards all together when it comes to road safety, stating that they’d rather keep their eyes on the road – fair point.


Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say that the CDOT got it wrong, as the billboard has sparked conversation and debate, pushing its message out further. And as a channel, where better to promote road safety? Talk about knowing where your audience is. But I guess what is key here is that when approaching a sensitive subject such as road safety, it’s important to consider 1) Can the message be misconstrued in any way? 2) If it can, how will you deal with ay negativity? and 3) Will this do more social ‘good’ than ‘bad’?
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by Kalli Soteriou


How Have Famous Logos Changed Over the Years? A Social Media Agency Takes a Look

This week we’re looking at the world of design and today we’re having a look at the way some of the world’s most recognisable logos have changed over the years.

Some of the most famous brands in the world have changed their logos many times over the years yet their branding still remains recognisable and on point. Each change has been brought around when the company needs a revamp or they want to change the brand to fit in with the style of the time. With most logos we’ve seen a change from quite a complex design in the early 1900s to a more minimalist design, many removing names of text altogether by their latest design.


One of the most famous brands in the world is Coca-Cola. They’ve been around for a long time now, the company was started in 1886 and the first logo was implemented in 1887.

cocacola logos

These logos show a concrete trend throughout, the famous font. The only major change came in 1890 where the font changed for a year to a curlier style of writing before it was decided to change it back to the predecessor logo. The logo in 1969 saw the first appearance of the white wave design which was brought in to reflect the unique curve of the Coca-Cola bottle. Most recently the logo was updated for the 125th anniversary of the company which included the whole bottle in the logo with the famous font visible on the side of the bottle. The logo can still be seen as above but without the celebratory years or lid and bubbles which makes it appear a lot more simplistic, which is a definite style at the moment.


Another of the biggest brands in the world is Nike, the sports brand has had it’s infamous ‘swoosh’ since 1971 and only a few changes have been seen since it’s inception. The logo began with the word Nike as part of the logo but slowly got phased out and the solo tick as we know it today is the the long-standing current logo.

Nike logos

The logo in it’s current form with no type, is instantly recognisable and came to be a stand alone logo in 1995, which has now been defined as the first company to ‘de-brand’, a term which means to remove any word association with the company from the branding. this has also been seen recently with Coca-Cola’s ‘share a coke campaign’ and in the updated design of the Starbucks logo.


Talking of which, we’re now going to take a look at the evolution of the Starbucks logo, which as some (many) have joked is an increasingly zoomed in version of the original logo.

starbucks logos

So from their original logo in 1971 Starbucks have always stayed true to their most recognisable image, the siren, or mermaid as others like to call her. In 1987 they dropped the brown design and made a switch to green which was a huge decision for the company, as Starbucks is now synonymous with that green, with the colour being used on store-fronts and even on staff aprons and uniforms. In 1992 they further embraced the siren image and while making her slightly less ‘risqué’ they were furthering the branding for their coffee company. Now most recently they also took a leap of faith by ‘de-branding’ their logo and in their own admission they said they were using the logo re-brand as the start of an evolution for the company.


Now for one more of the biggest and most recognisable brands in the entire world. We’re taking a look at their logo history from their humble days when there was just the one location in California up until today where there are over 30,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the world.

mcdonalds logos

Up until 1955 Mcdonalds didn’t have an official brand. It wasn’t until an architect designed their first Illinois restaurant (in 1955) that the distinctive golden arches were born which spurred their first arches logo. The logo which looks more familiar to today’s iteration was introduced in 1968/69 which is the same year that their most famous burger was born, the Big Mac. This change in logo design also led to a large remodelling of the restaurants and more focus still on the golden arches. The following logo was a reiteration of the previous one, refocusing on the fed part of the logo. In between then and 2003 the ‘M’ featured a drop shadow, a new dimension to the logo and then in 2003, a new popular slogan ‘I’m lovin’ it’ was added to the logo. 

Most recently in 2006 Mcdonald’s featured a minimalist focus on the simplistic golden arches, the image lost it’s drop shadow as well as it’s colour bezel and became a flat image. Because the arches are such a strong and well known image the logo update works perfectly for the brand and within the current trend for minimalist designs.

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by Helen Stirling