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New Logo for Wonga



Noted May. 20, 2015 by Armin

Industry / Finance Tags /


(Est. 2007) “Wonga.com is a British payday loan company offering ‘short-term, high-cost credit’. The interest charged by the lender, which can equate to an annual percentage rate (APR) of more than 5000%, has been widely criticised. Wonga have said that they believe that APR is a poor measure of the true cost of short-term loans. As of November 2013, a loan of £100 over seventeen days (Wonga’s average loan term) required £123.44 to repay. Wonga is a slang term of Romany origin for money, used in some parts of Britain since the 1980s. The firm operates in the UK, South Africa, Canada, Spain, Germany and Poland. The company invented fully automated risk processing technology to provide short-term, unsecured personal loans online, including via tablet and mobile app. The service was launched in October 2007. The firm was the first to provide an instant lending application on the iPhone.” (Wikipedia)

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Related links

Wonga press release
Forbes story on what went wrong with Wonga

Relevant quote
We're re-presenting our short-term loans to the public in a way that accesses the right type of customer and reduces the risk of inadvertently attracting the very young or vulnerable. Our focus is on serving hard-working people throughout the UK who need access to transparent, flexible and short-term credit products.

Wonga press release

Images (opinion after)
New Logo for Wonga
Logo detail.
New ad. Compare to sample of previous puppet ads, which were yanked off air.

I had not heard of Wonga before but it sounds like it was a total douchebag company as the market leader of quick, short-term instant loans with a ridiculous APR (annual percentage rate) of 5,853%. Do a Google search for "Wonga" and news reports with the words "Loan Sharks" and "Financial Terrorism" are in the first page. Their advertising effort consisted of puppet ads and somehow the loans attracted really young customers who didn't understand the loans and got into trouble which led to the puppet ads being pulled from TV, specifically of ads showing during children shows and with the new advertising they will not post posters or billboard within 50 meters of a school or college. My professional opinion is that the brand equity of this company is shit.

This week Wonga has rebranded with the hope of shedding its past, starting with a new ad that shows trustworthy people earning money the honest, hardworking way. The new logo is an evolution of the previous speech bubble version that was pretty lame to begin with (and that ".com" was awfully tight to the name). The new logo is partially better but not by much. The speech bubble has been shortened to only the "w" which then serves as the social media icon and quick identifier so it has some purpose. The typography is much more friendly — it's actually nice, I really like that "a" — and makes for a stronger wordmark than before. Regardless of visual improvement, this brand has a steep uphill to climb that no amount of custom lettering can make easier. It's interesting, though, that Wonga chose to stay very close to its previous logo instead of doing a more drastic change to more clearly part ways with its past. Maybe it's a case of #SorryNotSorry.

Thanks to Matthew Day for the tip.

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