From video game publisher to global entertainment brand creator

Ubisoft is the creator, publisher, and distributor of interactive entertainment super brands, including Assassin’s Creed, Rayman, Just Dance, Far Cry, Watch Dogs, and Tom Clancy’s video game series. Ubisoft’s worldwide network of studios delivers category busting gaming experiences across all popular platforms, generating sales of €1.46 billion in 2016.

Ubisoft’s ambition is to grow into the broader entertainment landscape by bringing its creative worlds to much larger audiences through different formats including TV and film, books, consumer products, and location-based entertainment. 2016 marked an important milestone with the launch of their first feature length film, Assassin’s Creed, starring Michael Fassbender. In this moment of expansion for Ubisoft, they issued a brief to evolve their master brand identity.

Method worked closely with the Ubisoft brand team to simplify the master brand identity into a more emblematic form that could take on the personality and skin of any of their games. We produced a set of brand assets and style guide that allowed them to build on the equity of their “swirl” mark and showcase their rich portfolio.

The new Ubisoft brand identity officially launched in June 2017 in advance of E3, the world’s biggest annual gathering of the video game industry. The identity was unveiled to over 68,000 people in attendance at E3. Ubisoft’s press conference featuring the new identity garnered more than one million views on YouTube within the first week.

We collaborated with a kick-ass creative team at Method London. There was a great cultural fit between our teams and we really thought about the creative process before diving into the project. We took our concepts to the field early on, which I also think is symptomatic of what this new identity means. We are aiming for greater collaboration with our players.

Courtney Riss, Corporate Brand Director, Ubisoft

Insights

Put the consumer at the heart of the process

Although the identity evolution could be considered a relatively simple process in terms of design complexity, the real challenge was gaining alignment across a global, distributed organization, as well as with Ubisoft’s fan base. We tested the designs with users early on and refined them based on the feedback we received. Putting the consumer at the heart of the process helped us generate internal buy-in, so that upon launch, the entire organization and wider gaming community felt a genuine sense of ownership.

Master brand as a window into product

The Ubisoft brand team recognised the importance of creating an identity system that allowed the individual personality of the Ubisoft product brands to shine through, whilst strengthening the master brand by unifying it under an evolved and simplified identity. We amplified the importance of the products and stripped back everything else to create a flexible system that can adapt as the Ubisoft portfolio grows.

A great brand identity is the truth about an organization articulated in a clear and salient way - not adding unnecessary visual noise or clutter. In Ubisoft’s case, building on the equity of the original swirl and heroing their fantastic content was key to communicate.

Hector Pottie, Creative Director, Method

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