South Africa’s banking sector is in the midst of a shake-up, because most of us are tired of the bang average offerings that are currently out there.
Compare prices and charges and withdrawal fees and branches all you like – at the end of the day, it’s still rather pointless choosing one SA bank over another.
The latest banking buzz revolves around Absa and their massive rebranding, including the logo. Many were left scratching their heads and wondering where they had seen it before.
Twitter user @LewEvil picked up on that:
Here they are, one above the other, for a proper comparison:
Ah, I see.
They bolded the font and were like ‘shweet, job done – to the bar’.
Word on the street is that the same agency who were behind the Open Serve logo handled the Absa rebrand, and you can bet the latter cost a bloody fortune.
Nice little bump to the agency’s profit margin when the intern (probably unpaid) can whip up the new design in under an hour, and then get back to making coffee and being treated like a spare wheel.
Freelance graphic designers everywhere are counting the zeros behind this rebrand, comparing it to their hourly rates, and weeping into the latte they’ve been nursing at the coffee shop for half an hour because they can’t afford decent internet at home.
According to Absa, here’s part of the reason for the rebrand:
The rebranding campaign included two newly-created, unique features, a brand new word font and a new term, ‘Africanacity’, described as “the distinctly African ability to always find ways to get things done”. This is what the new Absa brand ascribes to. “Africanacity is an idea of how we pitch up and how the people around us pitch up, and how we do things,” [David Wingfield, group marketing head of Absa] explained.
And also this:
Our circle is a reflection of the diversity of our continent, our people and the infinite opportunity to be found in Africa. At the centre of our circle is our purpose, our focal point – to bring your possibility to life.
Yeah, OK, cool.
From the same @LewEvil tweet, a point well made:
Mr Farmer also has a hot take:
— Derrick Carolin (@Derro_SA) July 11, 2018
And others hopped on the bandwagon:
In response to the piss-taking, and some other jabs, Absa countered with this:
You can find more of the social media mockery on Mark Lives, or just do a bloody search for yourself.
So, the other part of the reveal was a drone display over Sandton yesterday.
Here’s a video:
ABSA x INTEL Drone show – first on the African continent – Intel bringing innovation to entertainment! #intel#absajourney pic.twitter.com/39QmuT4Ml9
— Videsha (@Videsha1) July 11, 2018
Absa x Intel Drone Light Show. I just need one drone. Just one. pic.twitter.com/aqJXYHENsU
— zodwa kumalo (@Zoddies) July 11, 2018
Am I the only one who finds all this nonsense so tedious? Spend the money improving your website, or having more people man the helpline, or pay the people manning the helpline more so that they actually care about their jobs.
Nah, let’s fly some drones above the city – gonna be lit, fam.
I guess there are two things we can take from this.
An agency made a killing out of this rebranding, which would have involved thousands of meetings and thinktanks and pow-wows and strat sessions and brainstorms and [insert other lingo].
Then Absa blew loads of money on a drone display, which might not have been legal in the first place, according to a Business Insider piece written before last night’s show:
Questions have been raised about the event because neither Absa nor Intel seems to have a licence to operate drones, nor do they seem to have registered the 300-odd drones that will be involved.
South Africa has strict licensing requirements for drones, in part to protect those beneath them…
Strictly speaking, each of the 300 Absa drones should be individually licensed before they can take off, she says.
Such licensing is a tedious process that has taken local companies years to organise, according to Jono O’Connell, owner of Timeslice, a licensed drone company in the film industry in Cape Town.
“Many of us were contacted only a month ago to quote on this project and we all said it could not happen in such a short space in time,” O’Connell tells Business Insider South Africa.
“I have waited nearly two years for one [letter of approval] and at best around eight months. I said organising a job like this within the time frame would be impossible.”
In response to the allegations that they could be flying drones illegally over Johannesburg, Absa told Business Insider it had received the correct permission to use the airspace above two sites, Nasrec and the Johannesburg CBD, from the CAA in June.
Absa says all is above board, and Intel was given “special permission” by the CAA, but O’Connell is still very unimpressed:
“I really want to promote drones and what Absa is doing is fantastic. How can it be fair to fast-track one operation while dozens of others get left lying in limbo? The way this was done goes against the regulations we are strictly held to,” says O’Connell.
“We’re all happy to play by the rules. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Unfortunately what seems in this case is that is not what’s transpired,” says O’Connell.
Probably forked over a small fortune to make the drone display happen, on top of what they paid to the agency for the rebrand.
Is it too much to ask for a bank that doesn’t blow its money on peacocking like this, and actually focuses on giving the people what they want?
From what we’ve heard so far, the team at Bettr are taking that approach, so perhaps there is something to look forward to bank-wise.
Absa, judging by the public sentiment to your rebrand, your money might have been better spent elsewhere.
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