RAC to stick with its colour code

16/07/2008 - 22:00

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RAC has achieved top ranking for the second year running in the annual WA Business News branding survey.

RAC to stick with its colour code

RAC has achieved top ranking for the second year running in the annual WA Business News branding survey.

The continuation of the organisation's "yellow" campaign, with the tagline "RAC members are happier", has proved a successful formula; and there are no plans to change it, according to The Brand Agency managing director Steve Harris.

"It's been a central part of their brand. We spent 18 months developing that whole identity," Mr Harris said.

"They're selling a lot of different products, they've got a good franchise in the community and their business continues to perform well."

While RAC has ranked in the top five most recognised WA brands for the past five years, the perception of its brands among the industry has varied, having been named one of the state's underachieving brands just two years ago.

But the organisation's major brand overhaul, under the guidance of brand and communications director Carolyn Hall (pictured), elevated the RAC brand to being regarded as one of the most improved last year.

Ms Hall said new messages detailing RAC's activities in the community would appear in a number of new campaigns, including a new branding campaign launched earlier this month.

"RAC is a trusted brand, and that's more of a focus in our new campaigns coming out," she said.

"What were trying to do is build more value in the brand through our activities in the community.

"Our message is around everything we're doing in the community, which we don't think our members are aware of."

Marketforce chief executive John Driscoll believes the RAC has reaped the benefits of a more unified marketing approach during the past 12 months.

This year's WA Business News survey of advertising executives presented some consistent results compared with previous years, with the rankings often a reflection of which organisations have the largest advertising spends or physical presence in WA.

RAC, Bunnings, HBF, Lotterywest and BankWest have all appeared in the most recognised list since the branding survey began in 2002.

These organisations also, by and large, maintained consistent campaigns, albeit with a few tweaks.

HBF complemented its "Live Life Well" advertising campaigns with additional digital tools, including downloading the "I Like You" song as a ringtone, as well as a Facebook page celebrating its new look.

And while BankWest has been criticised for neglecting its WA market to focus on its expansion plans into the eastern states, its large physical presence in WA still lands it a spot on the most recognised list.

The company's "Happy Banking" campaign, with the ambitious aim of making customers feel happy about a bank, used animated TV commercials and a quirky interactive website involving, among other things, singing kittens.

The campaign also involved transforming 50 prominent statues from all across Australia, including the Caller statue in front of the WA Art Gallery, into smiling, happy landmarks.

This year's survey also highlighted the rise of some of the state's emerging brands, and a few notable exits.

Almost half of the top 10 most recognised brands in this year's list are new entrants, with stalwarts such as Rick Hart and The West Australian leaving the list.

Local ISP iiNet experienced a strong resurgence this year, coming from the most improved last year to this year being ranked as the fifth most recognised WA brand.

That company's advertising campaign, featuring Fin, aka Perth actor David Smyth, was the creation of advertising agency Meerkats.

iiNet managing director Michael Malone said the ads captured the essence of what the company was about.

"We did a few campaigns before but they never spoke for iiNet, they never said who we were. And that's very important; we're not just selling a product were selling a relationship with our business," Mr Malone said.

"I think Fin does epitomise who we are. He's authentic. When we see the ads they speak for us and our culture.

"If you want a position in the market you have to take a position in the market. You can't con people, you can't put out a dishonest campaign."

iiNet executed a successful campaign to try and break into the Sydney market by using blanket advertising at Town Hall station.

Mr Malone said the campaign took brand awareness from 10 per cent to 60 per cent in eight weeks, with high cut-through and recall.

The company launched a similar campaign in Brisbane last month.

Boutique brewer Little Creatures is also a new entrant to the list, after years on the emerging brands list.

Block Branding creative director Mark Braddock said Little Creatures was "the best brand that's been created in WA for a long time.

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