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Brand Union crafts visual identity to herald Aetna’s customer-centric repositioning
WPP global brand agency Brand Union has reimagined a new visual identity for healthcare giant Aetna, which is making a significant transition from being known primarily as a health insurance provider to a full-scale, consumer-focused health partner.
Working in collaboration with creative WPP sibling agency Ogilvy & Mather, Brand Union has designed a fresh color palette, typography as well as photography, icon and illustration styles for the new Aetna campaign, dubbed “You Don’t Join Us, We Join You.” “This was one of those rare, enviable briefs from a client, in that it came from an industry we all have a strong connection to, about a topic we all care about, and it featured a mandate from the highest levels of an organization for real change,” explains Brand Union Executive Creative Director, Sam Becker. “To be sure, repositioning a health insurance giant such as Aetna, as a future-oriented tech/health company was no easy task. In order to change consumers perceptions of a brand like Aetna, virtually synonymous with the insurance category it sits in, required us to think differently about the strategy, the brief and even some of our own processes.”
Initially launching over TV, print, radio, and out-of-home in Jacksonville, Houston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, with a national launch online, the “You Don’t Join Us, We Join You” initiative reflects Aetna’s goal of not only repositioning the brand, but also bringing a new look and feel to the health industry overall. “We embarked on crafting a modern, disruptive visual system that moved Aetna further into the B2C space with a real sense of purpose,” Becker adds.
The foundation for this new design language were two carefully chosen typefaces: The first is Domaine, a strong, evocative serif with an editorial sensibility, employed to communicate empathy and suggest all the ways Aetna can work alongside you so you can meet your health goals. Second, Brand Union utilized Open Sans, a hard-working digital native typeface to be used more frequently, especially in Aetna’s suite of slated products and services. This same thinking inspired the brand’s iconography, which uses a newer, simplified color palette.
Additionally teaming up with fellow WPP agency OgilvyRED, which oversaw brand strategy to position Aetna as a partner on a journey to better health, Brand Union helped create a visual template, complete with imagery of candid, authentic moments to help compel existing and prospective clients. “When considering the competitive landscape, we thought broadly about brands that support and inspire a fanatically loyal customer base, considering unexpected companies like Nike, Apple, Capsule and Spotify,” says Becker. “As many in this emerging space know, it’s not enough to ask people to live healthier lives. You must motivate them to do it.”
In regards to the health brand’s collaboration with Brand Union, Aetna VP of Enterprise Marketing Wendy Wahl says, “Brand Union was an essential element of our rebranding success – a true partner from start to finish. They listened to the challenges we were facing and helped us to create a strategy that felt right for us, now and in the future.”
About Brand Union
Brand Union is a leading WPP-owned global brand agency with deep expertise in brand strategy, design, interaction, brand management and employee engagement. Leveraging the talents of over 500 people in 25 offices, Brand Union serves every major market with a client roster that includes Vodafone, Dell, Jaguar Land Rover, CBRE, Pernod Ricard, IHG, and Tencent. From the most significant of launches to the smallest of online interactions, Brand Union defines, creates, and curates the total brand experience, ensuring it’s both brilliantly designed and beautifully connected.