In fact, WPP describes the move as a "brand refresh," and says it is the first the out-of-home media company since it was formed three years ago when WPP consolidated the media buying clout of its disparate, individual outdoor media units into a single global out-of-home media unit that is one of the world's largest. With some 4.4 billion in annual out-of-home media billings, Kinetic is second only to Aegis Group's burgeoning Posterscope operation.
"Our brand identity is crucial in that it not only differentiates us from other media agencies, but highlights the visual and communications appeal of out-of-home and Kinetic's unique positioning within the industry, plus the changing and dynamic nature of consumers on the move," boasts Nick Mawditt, director of marketing and insight at Kinetic.
The Kinetic brand overhaul was handled by branding agency Philosophy Design, and includes a newly designed Web site, and updated brand imagery for Kinetic's stationery, signage, internal and external communication as well as office branding.
The new branding features 12 visual images, showing audiences on the move in a dynamic, global, out-of-home context that will be rolled out over the next 12 months to each of Kinetic's 42 offices.
The overall positioning is, "a media agency that understands how to communicate with people on the move and as a reference point for out-of-home media." The elements include four core colors and the theme: "Reach the moving world and moving minds."
The repositioning comes as Madison Avenue is taking a fresh look at the role of out-of-home media, which next to online is one of the fastest growing sectors of media spending - partly due to new forms of digital out-of-home and full-motion video advertising outlets, but also out of recognition that consumer lifestyles are changing, becoming more mobile, and more apt to be influenced in out-of-home locations.
About the time of the formation of Kinetic, WPP Chairman Martin Sorrell cited research illustrating just how much consumer lifestyles have changed. The research indicated that the percentage of time the average consumer spends out-of-home and out-of-the-office has grown from about 8% in the "Mad Men" era of 1960 to about 18% today.
Out-of-home media consumption, meanwhile, is being accelerated by new technologies ranging from digital displays to Bluetooth and RFID interactivity to mobile hand-held devices. The creative elements have evolved from static, flat panels to building wraps and the most dynamic forms of video advertising, and even installations that trigger the sense of smell.
In fact, Kinetic last month introduced a new Out-of-Home Planning Guide to update media shops, creative agencies, clients and the trade press on the growing diversity and complexities of the out-of-home medium. The 125-page guide covers features research on "people in the moving world," as well as a description of new formats and technological developments in the out-of-home media business.