Last Monday night, I was at the Rizal Ballroom of Makati Shangri-La Hotel to witness the unveiling of the new logo for telecom giant PLDT and its mobile subsidiary, Smart Communications. It was a grand event attended by top executives of the different companies under PLDT Inc. The country’s leading telecom company is now called PLDT Inc. and not Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. With the name change, a new logo was destined to follow.
Initial reaction with the new PLDT and Smart logo
Well, it was about time. The last time PLDT changed logos was way back in 1996 and it was just a colored version of their 1983 logo. What was in 1996? I think at that time, beepers were the “in” thing and I still use a pay phone and dial 108 to make a collect call to my mom in Australia. I had to memorize or write down 7-digit numbers of family and friends. If I do not know a certain number, I will search it in the white or yellow pages. There was no Google at that time and internet was just starting. Multi-player gaming was via LAN. The popular games then were Doom, Counter Strike, Warcraft, Civilization and Diablo and you have to play it on your desktop or in internet cafes.
A lot has changed in 20 years. Fast forward 2016, phone directories are virtually useless. Kids as young as 8 can even download apps like games for their smartphones. We now have apps like Viber were we can talk face to face with people from across the globe. I can even talk to my mom any time of the day via Skype or Facebook Messenger. It has been years since I last called her landline. PLDT is definitely not a long distance telephone company anymore. I totally get why they have a new logo and brand identity.
As for the design, there were a lot of people who were making fun of it. It did not help that during the launch nobody cared to explain what the new logos mean. Based on the press kits that they gave us, the logos are shaped like a triangle and each side represents the company’s business pillars – exceptional people, meaningful innovations, and customers. Some people thought that the design was too simple and it is similar to some existing logos. I am not really into elaborate logo designs because I believe that values and performance are way more important than brand design to turn a logo into a brand. PLDT and Smart have the track record to make those simple triangles into a formidable brand in the Philippines and I am confident that they will be a trailblazer in the digital segment. In a year or two, those triangles will be on the Wifi modems, pocket wifi, landlines, mobile phones and future gadgets of millions of Filipinos.
Logos Change but Values Remain for PLDT and Smart
One of the highlights of the logo unveiling was the reunion of the legendary Filipino band, Eraserheads. The group sang several of their hits and I picked the song “Walang Nagbago” for my video recap because I believed that nothing much has changed with PLDT. I still rely on them to communicate with my loved ones. I expect them to be still “changing lives” in the years to come. The company has been instrumental in helping families maintain close relationships with their loved ones abroad or those living in other provinces. Over the years, PLDT has also evolved into an entertainment provider by giving people access to services like YouTube, IFlix, Fox International Channels and even Facebook. I expect a lot more innovations from them this year as they have set aside around 43 billion pesos for capital expenditures. They are going to be a force to be reckoned with and I am setting a high bar for them when it comes to performance especially in the digital segment.
They will be a daily presence in my life in the next few decades and most likely in yours as well. 😉
— Caloy O. —