Originally established in 1984 as Bord Telecom Éireann, a state-owned telephone company, giving it a monopoly on landline connections in Ireland, Eircom was established as a private company in 1999 and it wasn’t until the early 2000s that it started facing competition while growing to offer phone, internet, and cable. Now, renamed eir, the company is the principal provider of fixed-line and mobile telecommunications services in Ireland with approximately 2 million customers while currently constructing Ireland’s largest fibre broadband network that will reach 1.9 million homes and businesses in the next five years. The company’s new name, strategy, and identity were conceived by Moving Brands.
A country’s performance can be measured by its connectivity, and Eircom has this responsibility for Ireland. Because it takes pride in being the network open to all, we successfully proposed that the company should become ‘eir’, a name that conveys its essential contribution to Irish life. It also suggests a lightness and new optimism for the business.
The brand story we created to drive the business and the brand, as well as galvanise its people, is ‘Essential to Ireland. Essential to life.’ We created the advertising strapline ‘Live life on eir’, an invitation to its customers - and the nation. This sets the tone for the new brand’s vibrant and playful communications. ‘Business rises on eir’, used in B2B communications, expresses uplifting optimism.
The eir identity is a simple but bold brand system, that allows this complex business to intuitively create and deploy a range of vibrant, larger than life expressions. It conveys the business’ shift from a supplier of infrastructure and services to one that is more approachable, human, warm, and positive.
The previous logo was relatively good. It had a decent, Death-Star-in-construction-phase-shaped icon that communicated connectivity through swoopy lines and the wordmark, despite being unicase, was quite nice. One thing the logo wasn’t was consumer-friendly. It definitely felt like a corporation with an after taste of monopoly. Dropping the “com” was the first bold step in taking this brand straight into the Nike/Apple stratus of simple, evocative names. The logo can be hard to digest at first glance because it’s so unexpected but I find it to be extremely attractive, dynamic, and engaging. Everything about it makes it stand out: the upward rotation, the bold script lettering, and the retina-assaulting color combinations. The overall shape of the wordmark is highly pleasing — it’s soft and flowing. My only complaint would be the “r”, where the shadow is not quite fully resolved and turns the wordmark from a flat-noodle kind of construction to a more tubular one that makes it a little confusing. Nonetheless, I dig it.
At an estimated cost of €16 million, this is the largest rebranding in Ireland in the past twenty years. The brand palette includes 20 different colours and more than 100 agencies worked on all aspects of the rebrand, bringing the new identity, new culture and behaviours to life. Customers will immediately begin to see the change as almost 1,500 technicians will don a new uniform from today with 160 rebranded vans on the road. In total, the eir fleet of 1,500 vehicles will be rebranded over the coming months. All 63 stores nationwide will reveal the new identity on launch day, with a further 53 to get an internal refit in the coming days and weeks. There will be 6,000 TV ads, 4,500 radio ads, 2,100 outdoor posters and 80 million impressions online which will display the new eir brand and demonstrate the new direction for the business. Richard Moat says that the phenomenal scale of the rebrand was a natural step.
It’s rare to get the kind of detailed breakdown of how the brand gets rolled out. So enjoy the quote above. That puts it in perspective how complex these jobs can be.
One of the nicest details about the logo is how the darker shaded areas aren’t shadows but parts that are “breaking” in density so they become transparent, allowing the image behind it to come through. See the logo animation at the end of the spot above.
The custom font is nice and quite friendly. I wish the “n”, “m”, and “r” had proper stems going all the way up instead of the FF Dax approach that I so dislike. Still, the font pairs really well with the logo and all the colorful applications.
In application, there is no rest for the weary: this is full-throttle all the time, with crops of the logo as backgrounds and color combinations that will make you wish you were at least 50% color blind. Don’t get me wrong, I like it, but I wonder if some literal white space would give the whole thing some peaceful moments.
In my Verizon review I wrote that “Verizon needed a major change and […] something much more approachable and consumer-friendly while having some more visual exuberance.” While eir and Verizon aren’t an apples-to-apples comparison, this work by Moving Brands is kind of what I was referring to in terms of consumer-friendliness and visual exuberance — perhaps something like this would be far too much for Verizon but I think, even at a fraction of the energy, this is the kind of approach it would have benefited from. In that same sentence of my review I went on that, if Verizon had gone with this approach “It would have then probably looked like a dozen other big mobile carriers and have a me-too approach […]” but this eir identity shows that you can still operate in this visual language while bringing some innovation and excitement to it.