Monday, 16 May 2011

Totally Grey


All that can be said about the new Total petrol station in Hamburg Germany is ‘Grey, grey and more grey’. Gone is the instantly recognisable red brand statement.

It’s hard to know what has motivated such a move since market research globally tends to supports a clean statement of colour. Germany may possibly be different since with a strong support amongst consumers and planners of ‘Green’ policies, a less bright, more subdued design that blends in with the environment may have been deemed preferable. Has Total followed McDonalds lead in ditching red in favour of a neutral colour (dark green)?

If Total are on the verge of abandoning ‘Red’, a tacit invitation for others to seize red is invited….. and what an invitation is that. Of all the colours red is the most obviously synonymous with the car. A red Ferrari the most brazen example. Red also means confidence, is highly visible, great for food and with no major negatives apart from being just too loud. Ironically a red and white balloon is seen in the background to shout that a new station has arrived and yet the station itself rejects red in favour of grey.

Perhaps a driver of the change has also been cost since a very minimalist style has been adopted with virtually no decorative cladding and illumination. Again the irony is any savings here would be countered by extra columns and clear roof panels. Is the hand of an architect more obvious than that of a branding agency?

To summarize Total may have thrown the baby out with the bath water in an attempt to be more environmentally friendly. We say being 'Green' is nothing to do with painting yourself red, green or grey, it's about deeds.
Post a Comment