Eircom becomes Eir in €16m rebranding exercise

New name, new logo, but is it a dinosaur, a tapeworm, or an old-school telephone cord?

Richard Moat , CEO eir, on stage with staff looking on during the launch of the brand eir , formerly known as eircom, in the company’s offices at Heuston South Quarter, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Richard Moat , CEO eir, on stage with staff looking on during the launch of the brand eir , formerly known as eircom, in the company’s offices at Heuston South Quarter, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

 

Eircom has lost its com. As reported in The Irish Times two weeks ago, the company that evolved from the Department of Posts and Telegraphs to Telecom Éireann to Eircom will now be known as Eir. Or, as it would prefer it, eir.

The squiggly new logo “looks like a child riding a blow-up dinosaur,” tweeted journalist Suzanne Campbell. UTV Ireland journalist Céimin Burke saw “a long-armed man on a segway.” Others were reminded of tapeworms, viruses and - not brilliant for a company that says it wants to resonate with “modern Ireland” - old curly phone cords.

“The new Eir identity is dynamic and modern,” said chief executive Richard Moat.

The creation of Eir is a €16 million project - thought to be Ireland’s largest rebrand in 20 years. The project involves 1,700 new shirts, hard hats and hi-vis vests for staff and new external signage for its 63 stores. There are more than 20 colours in the new Eircom palette, but it seems its rebranded fleet of vans will manifest in a Kermit-like shade of green.

It is the work of international agency Moving Brands, which has counted Google, Netflix and Sony among its clients. A creative campaign, using the Moving Brands-devised line “Live life on Eir”, has been developed by Dublin advertising agency DDFH&B, with the television spot featuring island-of-the-moment Skellig.

Its ads are soundtracked by the song Fionnghuala, a new arrangement of which was commissioned from composer John Walsh. Get used to hearing it - Eir has booked 6,000 television ads and 4,500 radio ones. If these ads were played back to back, they would add up to 13 days, seven hours and 21 minutes.

Some €5 million of the €16 million rebranding exercise has been spent on advertising. Somewhat astonishingly, more than 100 agencies were involved in the whole endeavour, which Eir said reflected the complexity of the task.

“We are change and changed,” a giant screen declared at the crowded launch event in its Houston South Quarter headquarters in Dublin. There was some other business to attend to, with Minister for Communications Alex White duly joining two bits of cable together for the cameras to signify that Eir’s new fibre-to-the-home product, Eir Fibre Extreme, is now a thing.

“This is a very different company than the one that came out of examinership three years ago,” said Jon Florsheim, managing director of Eir’s consumer division. “Everything you see here is a totally new statement about our brand.”

So was the Eircom brand damaged then? “It is more about us moving forward,” said Florsheim.

The wholesale and network business units will operate under the name Open eir - do you see what they did there? - while eMobile, eVision and eFibre will become eir Mobile, eir Vision and eir Fibre. Meteor, however, will remain Meteor for the moment.

Eir is still the only company in the Irish market with a quad-play offer (broadband, landline, mobile and television), although that will soon change when UPC Ireland (soon to be rebranded Virgin Media) launches a mobile product.

“Our competition are not Irish,” Florsheim pointed out. “We are an Irish brand.”