At A Glance, Which Logo Is For uPromise?

June 27, 2006 · 0 comments

This morning, I was diligently wading through my email when I noticed a banner ad that, out of the corner of my eye, looked like some kind of cellphone offer by…uPromise? Huh? No, this was an ad for Alltel! They have a new prepaid plan that for some reason they named “U.” “I” don’t know “Y.” (groan…sorry, couldn’t resist)
But this reminded me of the last time I clipped coupons, when I did a double-take at a handful that displayed what appeared to be the uPromise logo. It surprised me; I didn’t think they usually had quite so many featured coupons out. I gave it a closer look and realized this wasn’t the uPromise logo on the coupons, it was Unilever’s.
Thinking I must be the only aging consumer with screwed up peripheral vision and poor brand recognition, I googled it and found another blogger with a story about the uPromise and Unilever logo confusion, only his story includes an ice cream man who pointed to the uPromise logo as if it was the Orthodox Union’s Kosher logo, in answering the question posed in an Orthodox neighborhood about whether his ice cream was Kosher. So now we have a FOURTH “U” logo getting jumbled up in (at least some) people’s minds!
I sat down this morning and compared the logos, and I can see where there could be some confusion.
uPromise.jpg Alltel.jpg newunilever.jpg orthodoxunion.jpg
When you line ‘em all up side-by-side like this, it’s not too hard to see which one’s which…but you can also see the similarities.
Obviously, any company is going to have trouble getting exclusive rights to the letter U. But when you have this many big organizations all using a “U” for their trademark, it makes you wish at least one of them would do something a little more “U”nique — sheesh, at least choose a color scheme that’s not blue and white! (At least the Orthodox Union’s logo does often appear in other colors as well.)
If you’re wondering, the Orthodox Union began carrying its Circle U logo on products in 1923 — the first product to carry it was Heinz. Alltel just introduced its “U Prepaid” plan in 2006, Unilever adopted its current U logo in mid 2004, and while I’m not sure when uPromise’s current logo was introduced, that company’s just celebrating its fifth year of business.

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