As responsible citizens, we are big fans of the 2016 US Presidential race. From the logos to the messaging, to watching each campaign’s brand develop, compete and sometimes explode, it’s all very exciting. So naturally we were among the 15 million that tuned into the biggest event of the campaign yet, the first Republican debate.
While the event had its fair share of humorous moments, if you happened to look behind the candidates at the Facebook and Fox News logos, you might have noticed an (unfortunate) unintentional one. Their placement next to each other inadvertently displayed the message “F Fox News.” While people of our acquaintance do in fact hold the view “F Fox News,” given that this was on their network, this was probably not the message the network intended. In the immortal words of former Texas Governor and perennial presidential hopeful Rick Perry, “Oops.”
This is yet another example of just how important it is for companies to consider context and take a holistic view of how, when, and where to deploy branding assets and logos. A logo never exists independently, but always interacts with the signs, symbols, and environment around it. As perfect as an identity system may be on paper, it can very well turn into a joke when put it into a different context.
Assuming that this is not the work of the intern that pranked San Francisco Bay Area FOX affiliate KTVU-TV following the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, the producers of the debate did not intentionally set out to spell “F Fox News.” It is, however, a reminder to take a step back, look at things in context, and see if there might be an embarrassing gaffe in waiting. Let’s leave the gaffes to the candidates.