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Bringing Africa’s possibilities to life

With the recent re-launch of Absa as a truly African bank, the Absa Group had the opportunity to completely re-look the brand from the ground up, from the corporate identity, right through to the way we do business, with the intention of creating a new, relevant, iconic brand.

 

To start the journey, for a year building up to the re-launch on 11 July 2018, over 130 000 conversations were held across the continent with stakeholders, employees, customers and regulators. As a result, a unanimous conclusion was reached: the name Absa had equity, and should remain the name of the bank.

With a strategic imperative to enable growth on the continent, we had to create a new positioning. With this driving the business, the bank’s new positioning of “Bringing your possibility to life” was born.

But the challenge still remained: how could Absa make this positioning ownable in a heavily contested environment of banks striving to enable Africans’ opportunities?

We looked at the continent we call home to inspire us, and we found a golden thread that ran through her people, a way of getting things done even in the face of adversity that sets Africa apart, that has made us the continent that is truly on the cusp of greatness. 

Unable to find a word to define this ‘spirit’, we coined a new word to define it - Africanacity: It captures Africa’s ability to turn any adversity into a fresh opportunity. It’s about how we, as Absa will get things done, inspired by Africa.

For Absa, Africanacity is our promise to our customers, to bring their possibility to life.

A new word for a new bank

 / ˈafrɪk(ə)nasɪti/

Noun

The distinctly African ability to always find ways to get things done.

Africanacity inspired all elements of the re-brand. From the new circular logo, which depicts how Absa puts people at the centre of everything we do, to the lowercase treatment of the brand name, which was updated from an acronym to being written as a lower-case word, with a contemporary and approachable feel.

The new brand colours took cognisance of the fact that Absa was strongly associated with red, maintaining a primary red then expanding the palette to a full complimentary spectrum of beautiful hues inspired by the colours of Africa.

In addition, the new look and feel created the opportunity for visual identifiers. Absa recognised that, with such a variety of languages spoken in Africa, the identity needed to ‘speak’ to people, without using words. And so the ‘Gestures’ were created; a universal visual language that would unite us - bringing meaning in new ways. 

The new brand was ready to launch, and it was shared in an inimitable campaign that was the largest launch ever seen in Africa. In Mzansi, we delivered over 180 outdoor pieces, 55 print ads, 2 TV ads, over 400 pieces of digital and social content, and put Africanacity on everyone’s lips with radio ads that explained how to pronounce the word.

Absa also rebranded thousands of ATMs, hundreds of branches, transformed 9 offices and sent 300 drones into the night sky for one company with 42 000 employees.

Taking one company into the future, ready to bring the endless possibility of a continent, to life.