With six million customers and 35,000 employees across the world but primarily in Australia and New Zealand, ANZ (or Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, for long) is one of the top fifty international banking and financial services groups in the world and certainly one of the top banks in Australia and New Zealand, now with its sight set to expand on Asian markets. After conducting a reportedly “record amount of research — 1550 interviews in seven countries in three successive waves,” ANZ began rolling out a new identity and advertising campaign over the weekend, both created by the Auckland, New Zealand office of M&C Saatchi and its internal identity design group Re.
With the tag line “We live in your world” the TV campaign and the logo itself revolve around the idea of people. While the TV ad is kind of charming and captures the essence of people and their banking worries, the logo is quite disappointing in all aspects. The old logo had that vintage patina that becomes endearing over time, and it had a nice depth to it with the white stripes playing a nice game in the “N” but it wasn’t anything fantastic. The new typography strips everything that was remotely interesting about the old one — the multiple lines and the italics — and all that is left is a set of unsightly letters.
The three shapes in the new signage reflect ANZ’s three core markets — Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific - while the central human shape represents customers and staff.
The icon has what appears to be the leftovers from Cingular knocked out of three random shapes that, all together, form a very strange alien-like form. The shapes of the icon have no reference to the typography and the overall lock-up is downright unpleasant. Unfortunately, the whole thing looks like bad 1980s bank identity work and for a financial organization going head-first into the twenty-first century into new markets, there is no sense of innovation to be found.
To boot, the “logo” has been reported as costing $15 million and, as usual, the media has had a field day in mocking that amount. As we all know, this is the cost of rolling out the identity and implementing.