On September 22, 1991 the largest merger in Dutch business between ABN and AMRO Bank was officially implemented.

Brad Green of the prestigious American-British advertising and marketing agencies “Landor Associates” designed a most striking advertising line and a new trendy logo[1].

All employees received a brochure with the brand new, international lay out and a large poster with the green-yellow logo on it. A package leaflet described, that “we all have to be proud of such a unique new bank” and invited “to express to the finest detail what you think of the new logo”. And: “Contributors of the most original reactions will be rewarded with a lasting artifact” All work station screens showed the new logo! Spontaneously a group of colleagues gathered round my desk. “Look”, explained a computer-literate colleague, “when you click with the arrow on the logo” -he showed it-  “it becomes larger and larger.” He mouse-clicked a few more times until the logo filled up the entire screen:

Responses (pros and cons)  tended to infinity:

“It looks like the door of a safe!”

“My mouth starts to water with such sweet colors!”

“Is not it turned upside down?”

“It looks like the old AMRO[2] logo, but then without that hole in the middle!”

“Why did they cut the two lower corners off?”

“Is it a shield?”

“Shields are usually round, right?”

“Will there be discussion groups like ours in all our offices worldwide?”

“That means that there are over a hundred thousand people not working right now!”

Our manager came in and joined us. “Such a world famous advertising and marketing agency makes a profit of hundreds of thousands of guilders[3], may be even a million out of this”, he ascertained. Pondering he added: “So there has to be a hidden vision. A massage…But which?”

A colleague, back from lunch, walked along my desk and took a cursory look at my screen. “Oh, I see”, he said loosely, “it means that from now on we are allowed to go home at three thirty PM!”

 

[1] The logo shows a shield, that symbolises reliability, tradition, protection and security; The colour combination green (turquoise), yellow and grey separates the logo from predecessors and competitors, where it is adhering modern, sophisticated and clear.

[2]The old AMRO Logo”:

[3] We had Dutch guilders until in 2002 the Euro came in.

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