A rebrand for Barcelona’s waste collection services paints an unexpected and delightful picture-book depiction of the city
Focusing on citizens and centring playful illustration in its campaign, Folch hopes to get people excited about keeping the city clean.
- Liz Gorny
- 19 April 2022
Folch has just rebranded the city of Barcelona’s maintenance and waste collection services with a campaign that feels anything like it is for the city of Barcelona’s maintenance and waste collection services. The new identity, which is to last the next eight years – a lifetime in branding – coincides with a very fun campaign from the studio, titled Cuidem Barcelona (Let’s Take Care of Barcelona), which calls upon citizens to get involved in keeping the city clean with animation.
Directed by Barcelona-based animation studio Nice Shit, the Cuidem Barcelona animation features an illustrative style straight out of a children’s book, an unexpected turn for such a commercial brief. The cheerful work, showcasing citizens looking after Barcelona in a myriad of ways, will be utilised for a variety of different phases of the project, which in turn applies to more than 870 electric vehicles, 25,200 containers and thousands of different kinds of physical and digital media. To foster co-responsibility through the project, “It was clear that we needed a positive approach, avoiding a chastening tone of voice and including the citizens as the main characters of the campaign,” Folch tells It’s Nice That. “The combination of real actors and animations help us recreate the city through an aspirational point of view. This way we can identify with the protagonists, blurring the lines between fiction and reality.”
Interestingly, the rebrand project actually looked to draw attention away from the client, Barcelona City Council, in continuation of the aim to make citizens the new brand face. Folch adds: “The Barcelona City Council has always been perceived as the main provider of these services, they were the ones in charge of cleaning the public space. The new services had to somehow include the citizens, making them active players in keeping the city clean and unifying all services under one brand. The renaming solves this issue by introducing a more emotional naming: Cuidem (we take care of) includes a sense of community and plurality from a positive perspective.”
Empathy, and how to encourage it, is a driving force on other identity elements too. With a new brand symbol, an abstraction of the initials C. B. for Cuidem Barcelona, Folch introduces anthropomorphic traits in the form of a heart, “which allow us to get expressive and closer to the citizens,” says the studio. A smiley face also crops up in assets, which speaks to one of Folch’s other ideas: to create “a communication system based on codes of text messages to introduce the brand to younger generations”.
GalleryFolch / Nice Shit: Cuidem Barcelona / Barcelona City Council’s maintenance and cleaning service (Copyright © Barcelona City Council, 2022)
Folch: Cuidem Barcelona / Barcelona City Council’s maintenance and cleaning service (Copyright © Barcelona City Council, 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.