Asha & Co has worked on the new brand positioning, identity, and messaging for nature conservation charity RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), aiming to better communicate “the scale and depth of the charity’s work, enabling it to speak with passion, understanding, hope and urgency”, according to the agency.
The RSPB visual identity has also had a refresh: Asha & Co has added new brand devices including a ‘wingspan’ shape that can be used across various communications from the organisation, and the famous bird logo (an Avocet, to be more specific, which is a type of wader) has been modernised, while new typefaces are also used to give the identity a new lease of life.
“Our challenge was to help them reconnect with who they really are and give them the ability to communicate that sense of scale and detail, whilst carving out a new and authentic positioning within the worldwide environmental sector,” says Marksteen Adamson, founding partner, chief creative officer and director of strategy at Asha & Co. “To do this, we worked with them to create a brand positioning that aligned with their corporate, strategic objectives.”
Overall, the new branding looks to seize this critical moment in time: according to Asha&Co, “the UK is now one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, with the next ten years set to be make-or-break for nature, wildlife and the environment”.
As such, the agency and the RSPB felt that their message had to be inclusive to everyone, and offer hope and encouragement. The former central emphasis around bird protection has now shifted to give a wider viewpoint, which is referenced in the tone of voice, positioning and visual identity, and encapsulated in big picture messages like ‘action for nature with a bird’s eye view’.
Having worked with Asha & Co to understand how people perceive and engage with the RSPB, the charity “found that we needed to work even harder at demonstrating that we are an organisation focused on impact for nature during a nature and climate crisis,” says Ceri Dunne, head of strategy, knowledge and innovation at the RSPB. “We retained our USP of birds and through that demonstrate that we take action for nature with a bird’s eye view.”
The new brand reappraisal campaign is by the agency Lovers and based on Asha&Co’s key message: ‘Nature is in crisis. Together we can save it’. Lovers’ video-first campaign adds ‘there are so many ways to save nature’, aiming to amplify the idea of building an inclusive movement that invites action from everyone.
“There’s so much eco-anxiety right now, it’s paralysing. We felt that in order to play that ringleader card and ‘sound the horn’, we’d need to earn an emotional response of some kind, not just deliver facts,” says Lovers founder and creative director Alex Ostrowski. “We explored urgency, humour, song, and all sorts of approaches, but in the end it was this fast-moving, energetic montage idea that worked best — something that would leave people feeling stimulated, curious and eager to lean forward and engage.”
The 30-second video features a number of different people, including farmers, business leaders, cyclists, and even puppet-makers; aiming to underscore the importance of collective action.
“What we have is a campaign that emphasises action for nature needing to come from people, expressed in a way that doesn’t point any fingers or make anyone feel told off,” says Paul Birmingham, RSPB head of brand. “That positivity and hope are crucial…. We need to energise people, not spread despair”.