Tag Archives: logos

CHOM changes its logo, launches new ad campaign focused on music

Comparison of CHOM logos. On the left, the one in use since 2010. On the right, the new one just unveiled.

Comparison of CHOM logos. On the left, the one in use since 2010. On the right, the new one just unveiled.

CHOM is undergoing a moderate transformation, which includes an updated logo, replacing the one it’s used since 2010, and a new website.

The new logo keeps the badge outline, but replaces the grey and orange design that went overkill on the gradients with a simpler black-and-white one that’s literally rougher around the edges.

But the formula isn’t being toyed with. CHOM remains “the spirit of rock” and the music will sound the same.

“We thought the logo was a bit dated even though it’s not that old,” program director André Lallier told me on Friday. “The timing was good also, because over the past two years, the music has evolved. We’re playing a lot of newer stuff.”

The new logo, and the ad campaign that goes with it, are the work of ad agency Bleublancrouge, whose clients include The Gazette. (It did their Words Matter campaign in 2006.)

Lallier said it was the agency that approached them about three months ago asking if they could pitch an idea. “They said we’ll work on something and present something to you in three to six weeks.” After giving the agency a full briefing on how CHOM sees itself and what it’s looking for, Bleublancrouge returned with this campaign, which is focused on CHOM’s music: a mix of classic rock and new rock.

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Ex Astral, scientia

Astral Media, the company that has interests in cable channels, advertising, radio and a bunch of other stuff, has changed its logo.

Before: Astral Media

After: Astral

Logo changes are a fact of life, as companies realize that they’ve gotten old and boring and need some hip new way to stay in touch with people, like adding colours and going all-lowercase. They find a designer who whips out the Pantone booklet and gets to work on something abstract that will eventually get shot down by a committee until, 12 months later, a mediocre logo that doesn’t mean anything and therefore doesn’t offend anyone gets tacit support from the corporation and is released to the public.

Astral’s new logo replaces a stylized “A” with … another stylized “A” (but lowercase). According to the press release, the new logo “represents the company’s diverse assets, decentralized yet disciplined business model and the knowledge, passion and imagination its employees bring to the marketplace.”

I think it represents the fact that the only thing a logo maker can think of when it comes to Astral is that it starts with the letter “A”. But then, most corporate logos are just stylized letters anyway, although most aren’t quite so phallic.

My favourite part of the release comes right after that quote:

The vibrant colour palette and creative shape of the new logo are designed to convey human warmth and emotion, within a defined and responsive structure that is grounded and resilient.

Astral is prepared to show human emotion, but only within a defined structure. If it wasn’t obvious how big and corporate Astral Media has gotten, this should make it clear that it has nothing to do with the logo.

This video of an old white guy emotionlessly reading a statement filled with marketingese should accentuate that point.

Remember, these are the guys who own CHOM and Virgin Radio in Montreal.

Alain Bergeron: Out the door already

The redesign was apparently the work of this guy, VP and Chief Marketing Officer Alain Bergeron. Astral announced shortly after the new logo that Bergeron was leaving the company (supposedly he stuck around just long enough to launch the new brand identity).

The change has gotten some ink … err, pixels, in the mediawatchosphere, like this piece form Trente. But there has also been some criticism, one calling it “a weird mess”people on Twitter expressing even worse criticisms, and one even putting money behind a contest to design a new logo. It’s gotten so bad we’re starting to see a backlash backlash, serious analysis of the larger issue and parody on the radio.

Astral Media (now just “Astral”) is a private company and it can burn whatever cash it wants, even while it fires a bunch of front-line people and cuts hours of local programming at its radio stations to replace it with cheap syndicated crap.

But Astral has little brand recognition among the public. And there’s nothing wrong with that. People don’t go to the grocery store and buy Astral cereal. They don’t subscribe to Astral cable. They don’t turn on the TV or radio and switch it to the Astral channel. They go to Canal Vie, and VRAK.TV, and CHOM and Rock Détente. Astral’s properties have their own branding, why should the parent company care what anyone thinks of its logo?

Maybe I’m missing something, but my gut tells me if Astral thinks this change will do anything more than force them to throw away a bunch of old business cards and letterhead (and signs), they’re dreaming in Technicolor.

CHOM changes logo, pretends it’s more than that

CHOM's new logo

That’s CHOM’s new logo.

No, seriously.

No, seriously.

They launched it this morning, to great fanfare:

With PJ Stock joining the morning show this week (it will be “Chantal, PJ and Bad Pete”), it made sense to do it now. CHOM had risked being the only Montreal music station not undergoing a bullshit renaissance over the past year (see Mix 96, Q92, Énergie).

They made a big deal of it on the morning show, though I can’t figure out what other than the logo is changing. The tagline is still “The Spirit of Rock”, and it sounds like the music is still going to be the same (Pete Marier made a vague reference to “nicely tempoed rock and roll”). The press release makes mention of “more music” (sound familiar?), but gives little details. It lists three bands: 30 Seconds to MarsCavo and Shinedown (three bands I’ve never heard of) as examples of music that will “now strengthen the core of music that CHOM listeners love”, whatever that means. Listening to their music just now, I can’t say that makes me terribly optimistic.

But, it also reassures loyal CHOM listeners that Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Pink Floyd and Metallica aren’t going anywhere.

You can listen to their new audio branding here, which sounds pretty indistinguishable from their old branding if you ask me.

The logo

CHOM’s old logos are everywhere, they’re familiar, and they feel like the kinds of logos you’d find on a classic rock station:

CHOM's old bumper-sticker logo

With a 2002 redesign, it kept the red and black motif, even if it lost some of its charm. Still, it was clean and simple. Professional, even if a bit too corporate:

CHOM's most recent logo

This new monstrosity of a logo looks like it was cooked up by a 14-year-old in his basement using Adobe Illustrator. The black and orange seem to evoke a Harley Davidson-esque feel* (without being so similar that they’d get sued over it), but other than that there doesn’t seem to be any reason behind it. Why orange? Why something that looks like an American highway sign? (Is it because Tom Cochrane’s Life Is A Highway is going to be even more overplayed?) Why go overboard on the simulated gradients?

*UPDATE (Feb. 2): Apparently it’s no coincidence. Their contest of the week involves giving out a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Why is there nothing about this logo that makes me think of Montreal or rock music?

It’s been compared to a U.S. hockey team’s logo. I can’t think of a worse insult.

If this is CHOM’s “new baby”, I’m just going to have to be brutally honest: It’s a really ugly baby.

UPDATE (Feb. 11): Hour’s Craig Silverman explains the new logo with comments from program director Daniel Tremblay (and quotes this blog post). Rue Frontenac also has a piece on CHOM’s attempts to attract a younger audience.

The SPVM’s new look

Montreal police logo history

The SPVM has rebranded itself, simplifying its logo to the five-pointed star they’ve had for years tucked into a cartoonish skyline image of the city. The rebranding will also apply to cadets, crossing guards, green onions and other related uniforms, as well as to their vehicles (whose new designs look like they have five exclamation points over the rear wheels). (via mtlweblog)

I’ve always thought their logo could use a bit of a makeover, as busy as it was. But now it seems so simplistic. Maybe I’m just being nostalgic.

Either way, they got to work on that anti-aliasing problem on their website. That’s not the way to introduce a new logo.

UPDATE (Dec. 18): This letter in the Gazette is cute, suggesting the “human form” of the star logo represents someone standing, feet spread out and arms in the air.

At least the Habs logo is Number 1

According to the very scientific method of a poll on a blog, the Canadiens logo beat out the 29 other NHL teams logos in a head-to-head competition to win the title of NHL’s best current team logo. (I guess there really is a website for everything online, even one devoted to NHL team logos.)

Also be sure to check out this gallery of Habs logo and uniform concepts, including some disturbingly sacrilegious massacres of our dear CH.