Legendary UK auto club The AA has undergone a rebrand that keeps pace with the rapidly changing world of driving. By honoring The AA’s heritage while injecting new energy, the refreshed identity spotlights the breadth of services today’s motorists need. Let’s delve into the transformative rebranding process that celebrates The AA’s heritage while embracing modernity.
Addressing Shifts in the Automotive Sector
Founded in 1905, The AA is a trusted household name providing roadside assistance to over 14 million British members. However, recent innovations like electric cars and new technologies have disrupted the auto industry’s status quo. To reaffirm its leadership for current and future generations, The AA tapped global design consultancy Elmwood to evolve its identity.
This rebrand aims to increase awareness of The AA’s diverse offerings beyond breakdown coverage. This includes driving schools, insurance, accident assistance, repairs, and financial services. Messaging around ‘Always Moving’ captures the company’s spirit of constant evolution.
Breathing New Life Into a Familiar Brand
Rather than a complete reset, Elmwood focused on thoughtfully enhancing The AA’s recognizable black and yellow aesthetic for expanded appeal. Subtle design moves like smoothed edges and vibrant colors inject a dynamic, yet trustworthy feel.
Bespoke typography references the heritage logo while feeling fresh and digitally-native. A secondary color palette inspired by different times of day reinforces 24/7 reliability. Distinct identity pillars keep The AA’s business arms cohesive yet tailored.
“Our partnership with The AA has been a real highlight of the year for the Elmwood team,” says Paul Waters, senior account director at Elmwood. “The AA had big ambitions and gave us the license and freedom to be bold in our design approach. The result is a more dynamic and future-facing brand that will resonate with consumers of all ages and help to open up emerging and exciting opportunities for the business. We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved together through this partnership to date.”
A New Sonic Identity
As part of their brand revamp, The AA also launched their new sonic identity. Developed in partnership with audio branding agency Sixième Son, the contemporary sonic identity aligns with AA’s modernized visual brand. It feels fresh and innovative while also being inclusive for its broad audience. Punchy bass, percussion, and major key notes used in the sonic identity create an energetic but reassuring soundscape. Familiar siren tones nod to the brand’s heritage.
Flexibility is the key of the identity that adapts across touchpoints like TV spots and call centres. Also, custom sound design provides smooth, positive cues for customer service and streamlined guitar tones for emergency lines.
According to Sixième Son’s Laurent Cochini: “With a combination of catchy high-pitched notes, a siren sound that reminds us of the patrols when on duty, deep bass and drums, and major scale notes to highlight the positivity of the brand, we managed to express The AA in all its richness.”
The new AA rebrand embraces innovation within a beloved brand, adding to it, is an astounding audio identity that provides an optimistic audio experience. The AA is now all set and ready to support motorists wherever the road leads. Elmwood’s enhancements artfully position this icon for the future while retaining the familiarity drivers have valued for over a century. Overall, Elmwood’s partnership with The AA has resulted in a more dynamic and future-facing brand that resonates with consumers of all ages and opens up emerging and exciting opportunities for the business.