Staff Reporters
Jan 9, 2020

NETS 'brand refresh' is a whitewash

Singapore payment service gives its brand identity a long overdue turning its logo white?

NETS 'brand refresh' is a whitewash

In 1985, Norwegian pop band A-ha was riding the charts with the hit single "Take On Me". Thirty-five years later, the band is touring again, with its first ever concert in Singapore slated for March 21. Let the good times roll!

What's old can be new again, which is why Singapore payment provider NETS, also founded in 1985, has launched its first brand refresh in 35 years, which includes a new hashtag #NETSTakeOnMe, in homage. 

Perhaps this is also why NETS supposed 'brand refresh' doesn't stray far from its decades-old identity with its glorious 1980s corporate font. In fact, the only thing that immediately stands out is that the logo has turned pale—from its original red and blue to pure white.

Old NETS logo

Curious then that the refresh is meant to reflect NETS' "evolution and industry-leading innovation culture". A new campaign across social media, website and various other advertising channels (Campaign has requested further clarification) depicts how one can use NETS by 'tap', 'scan', 'pin' and 'click'. 

“The idea was to reposition the NETS brand as a payment of choice that can deliver various on-the-go lifestyle experiences to young and old," explained NETS CMO Pamela Tan in a release. "Through this campaign, we wanted to set a tone and tenor where we are bold, fresh, playful, energised and confident." 

Indeed, the campaign depicts younger to more mature NETS users making easy payments for everything, from a rainbow-haired woman scanning to buy an ice kacang at a hawker center to a style maven apparently tapping for refreshments at a VIP lounge of some sort (which can't be that VIP if she's paying). 

It also includes an incredibly contrived space pilot, ostensibly to show how to "take on travelling at warp speed". He looks like a dorky Robo-Cop in so awkward a pose that only a photographer conscious of melding-in a logo could have prescribed it. ("Lift your left elbow just a bit...arm straight at an angle so as not to cover the 'T' completely. Just like that, yeah. Hold it, don't move.")

It's unclear (we've asked) whether this work is by an agency or in-house, but surely if a brand refresh comes along only every 35 years NETS could do better, particularly if it wants to show how far it's evolved and how technologically advanced it is. 

We may have gone a bit overboard in jest. But hey, NETS did say #TakeOnMe, didn't it?

This post is filed under...
Rebranding exercises


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