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JustHere | November 15, 2017

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Ooredoo aka Qtel: Qatar’s telecom giant gambles with its identity

Ooredoo aka Qtel: Qatar’s telecom giant gambles with its identity

Love it or hate it, but Qtel has managed to create quite a buzz with its Ooredoo. Do you want that change?

Qtel transforming to Ooredoo (a-w-ri-do), meaning ‘I want’ is the hot topic of the day.

The rebranding has met with some very strong opinions, drowning out the excitement of tie-ups with Microsoft and Samsung.

A branding specialist who has worked extensively on Qtel campaigns in the past says what Qtel seems to be reaching for is to have one brand for all their operation across the globe with an ambition to grow more, and this sound just right for that.

“However, Qtel have this reputation of doing things super fast after years of delay. The rush to launch worldwide without a website is an unforgettable mistake, which left the new brand hanging with no official source (people who have tried various combinations of extensions for Ooredoo, came up with error pages). The name, we will get used to. It will be much easier for non-Arab, non-Qatari residents to adjust to it. To look on the positive side, what’s good about this name is that it’s a communication platform in itself. The look and feel here is the big issue,” he says.

“First, why red? It’s the most common color in branding and it won’t have a distinguishing character as most of Qtel’s competitors are red. If the colour choice was prompted by research or any other study Qtel should have challenged that.

“Second, the type face is so familiar which again puts the new brand at risk. There is a lack of differentiation, taking away any originality promise (qtel) is making. Also there’s the huge issue of how easily this can be adopted as a logo in Arabic.”

While Qtel says each of its global brand will adopt this identity by 2014, there is no mention of it in any of those sites those morning (see gallery of screenshots above).

  • Screenshot of a Qtel group company. It does not carry an announcement on the rebranding, that's supposed to be implemented in these companies by 2014.
  • Screenshot of a Qtel group company. It does not carry an announcement on the rebranding, that's supposed to be implemented in these companies by 2014.

 

Qatari video game designer Jassim Al-Mass had this to say:

One of the “Basic” rules to design a logo is (Know your Audience), I think the OOREDOO Qtel logo would’ve worked somewhere else, not here.

Jassim Al-Mass (@jalmass) February 26, 2013
While Razan Sulimen of Bylens accused Qtel of plagiarism:

#Qtel rebrands -simple #logo transformation diagram!very obvious..When inspiration meets plagiarism! #OOREEDOO #QATAR twitter.com/RazanGraphics/…

Razan Suliman (@RazanGraphics) February 26, 2013

And there was some sarcasm as well:

#BreakingNews #Ooredoo decides to Save Face by buying out Target, Dr DreBeats, and Vodafone to change THEIR logo! #QtelFail #Qtel #كيوتل

Abdulrahman Darwish (@Bo3oofing) February 26, 2013

Thankyou @qtelqatar for making me proud, rebranding as Pakistans’ national Language #Urdu #ooredoo , pretty much the same 🙂

Hani Arif (@haniarif) February 25, 2013
Some expats seemed to be disturbed by the meaning itself:

@justhereq just sounds like a brat to me. I want I want I want… But what would I know?

Paula Elliott Crook (@kiwipaula) February 25, 2013
But that could just be a matter of linguistic restriction, as Mr Q points out:

@kiwipaula different languages do not have the same grammatical structure. We don’t have modal auxiliary or modular verbs in Arabic.

Mr. Q – I♥Qatar.net (@iloveqatar) February 25, 2013
And let’s not forget… this is not Qatar’s first ‘I Want’ campaign; Salam Stores has been running one for a while now.

The rebranding announcement was made in Barcelona last night, at the GSMA Mobile World Congress. Footballer Lionel Messi and Qatari rally driver Nasser Al Attiyah have been named brand ambassadors.

Do share your thoughts on Ooredoo.

 

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