Cannes Lions

Axel Springer

SUPERUNION, Munich / AXEL SPRINGER / 2020

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Axel Springer is an organisation on the move. In recent years, it has undergone significant transition strategically, economically and culturally. Its objective has always been to empower people to make free decisions with independently researched information.

Today, as Europe’s leading digital publisher, Axel Springer has built up a fast- growing digital portfolio driven by a strategy of establishing content and classifieds as successful business models for the digital world.

Together with the Axel Springer management, we formulated the new self-image: from the core belief and purpose to the corporate vision, core competencies and values. Based on this we developed the new corporate design, which is not only contemporary, but also expresses the transformation from a newspaper publisher to a media and technology company that shapes the future of independent information.

Idea

The first stage of the wider project was to create a strong brand positioning for the business. Inspired by Axel Springer’s pledge to stand up for freedom, democracy and the rule of law, we defined our thinking into one powerful declaration, We Empower Free Decisions, and created a visual identity to embody the company’s twin beliefs of freedom and entrepreneurship.

To translate the new visual identity into an audio brand we used the sound of Axel Springer’s voice and his ethos as the starting block for us to create an innovative brand and sound language.

We took excerpts from Axel Springer's own voice and translated them into percussive dialogue. Consonants and vowels were given different rhythmic elements with the drums mimicking the phonetic sounds of his words. Our sound language, being close to the spoken word, has the effect of a bold punchline.

Execution

The brand purpose is reflected in our brand identity which has been rolled out across all aspects of the business, both visually and via sound branding.

The audio brand is not a memorable jingle that people can warm to; that wouldn’t be in keeping with the business ethos. Rather, it’s designed to convey an attitude – indeed, a disruptive attitude, but one that’s exactly right for Axel Springer.

Outcome

With its bold attitude and new audio identity, Axel Springer is even more ready to shape the future of independent information worldwide. Enthusiastically received by both the company and its shareholders, the new brand is signalling the way ahead.

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