lead/marke NET: Tom Fishburne > “Make the Logo bigger”

Note: When the logo replaces the innovation. When the sender replaces the message. When a brick replaces the brain. Enjoy!
(lead/marke NET proudly features Tom’s inspiring posts on a regular basis.)


(to instantly license this week’s cartoon, click here)

The quickest way to rankle a creative director is to ask to make the logo bigger. It’s an age-old feud that has existed since the dawn of advertising. It’s often the first piece of feedback shared, and has even led to its own song

“Make the logo as big as you can.
And make the logo bigger.
I don’t want to tell you how to do your job.
But, could you make the logo bigger?
Bigger, bigger, make it big.
Make the logo bigger.” 

A bigger logo won’t fix a small brand. It won’t make a brand more remarkable. There is no direct correlation between the size of a logo and the effectiveness of an ad. But, in the qualitative world of creative review, it’s a tangible, quantitative response. So, marketers give this feedback a lot, even if it’s superficial and even if it detracts from the strength of the creative execution.

The deeper issue is usually that the ad doesn’t link closely enough to the brand, but the debate often devolves into a tug-o-war on logo size.

That said, branding has to be prominent enough to link a creative message to a brand. There is a difference between advertising and pure entertainment after all. Sometimes, a creative director, possibly anticipating a tug-o-war over logo size, starts off with an execution where the branding is so understated that consumers will never take away which brand was affiliated with it, no matter how entertaining the ad was. 

One creative director tellingly puts it this way, “Little does the client realize that your final allegiance is not to them, but to the quality of the work, something that you cannot in good conscience permit them to jeopardize with their lack of taste.” He goes on to advise a sneaky con game on “How to make your client’s logo bigger without making their logo bigger” that somewhat resembles this other cartoon I drew in 2007.

(to instantly license this cartoon, click here)  

In a classic Mexican stand-off like this, no one wins. Get past the standoff, and instead of arguing about something as superficial as logo size, you’ll have time to come up with ways to make your brand more impactful.

Tom, when not cartooning (eg. for Marketing Week), is method’s international managing director. Based in London, he frequently speaks at campuses, companies, and conferences about marketing, cartooning, and how to spread business ideas. @tomfishburne