Last October, Applebee's started a new campaign with the Wanda Sykes talking apple. I noticed the commercials, but wasn't overly impressed. Then, about a month ago, I realized Applebee's was morphing its old logo into a new one at the end of the spots. Had this been going the whole duration of this campaign? I have no idea—maybe one of you out there can enlighten me. I thought the morphing logo was a nice way to introduce a brand redesign, even with my slow realization of it.
That isn't the point of this post, however. I more or less wanted to comment on the new logo vs. the old logo. The old logo had its problems, it was a clunky and I never liked that storybookish font, but the mark and font had equity in them and the logo was distinctive. That awful font made Applebee's, Appleebee's. Unfortunately, in this launch campaign, that I've read was intended to set Applebee's apart from its Friday's and Chili's competitors, Applebee's chose a pretty blah new logo. I'm the queen of keeping it clean, but the new logo is such a disconnect from the old one it's doesn't say Applebee's to me.
First off the new font is nice and I like it in general, just not for this. After such a distictive font holding their brand for so long, the new one just doesn't feel like Applebee's. It seems more corporate, which I don't think is what they were going for. I like the swooping A, but that's about the only defining feature. Add that to the terrible type treatment of the tag and you have two vastly different serifs battling it out with the tag overpowering the restaurant name. The tag's thick rounded type seems an attempt to make the overall logo friendlier, but it's ugly just plain doesn't fit.
The apple, without that lighter offset outline, would be a nice improvement over the less stylized one of the past, but with that outline it just reminds me of clip art and 1980's illustration. It feels as trendy as the comeback of 80's leggings.
I love Applebee's, just not this new logo. And no doubt Applebee's was due for a brand redesign, but this execution missed the mark.
Mmmm, I could really go for an Oriental Chicken Salad right now... Anyone free for lunch?