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Intelligence Squared 2011 REBRAND 100 > notable

Enterprise Rebrand
Country Base: USA
Industry/Sector: Institutions and Non-Profits, Educational Institutions
Below: Before and After Images in Slide Show, Summary, Credits

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Industry Setting
Intelligence Squared poses experts head-to-head for an exciting contest of ideas, wit and persuasion in a series of provocative and timely debates. From global warming to the economic crisis, the goal is to provide a new forum for intelligent discussion that transcends the reflexively ideological mainstream media. Attend live in NYC, watch globally on Bloomberg TV, or listen on NPR.

The challenge was to connect the visual identity with the personality and spirit of the brand itself. Intelligence Squared originated as an exclusive salon for Manhattan’s Upper Eastside. The former identity was lifeless, presidential, and failed to communicate a brand story. When the debate series moved downtown and secured international distribution rights, the brand needed to capture the essence of the organization as a stimulating battleground of ideas and appeal to a broader audience.

The revised communication strategy needed to accomplish three concurrent objectives: introduce the organization’s mission quickly and clearly; advertise the entertainment value of live debate to potential ticket buyers; and promote the debate content to a wide ranging television, radio, and online audience. The visual brand language needed to support this plan by developing a contemporized brand language that is bold, compelling and emotive, while still communicating the brand story to an intellectually sophisticated target demographic.

The new identity and website served as a powerful launch platform for the Fall 2010 Debate Series. Through a revised communication strategy and visual language, the brand voice now successfully illuminates the core values of the brand itself. Ticket sales, new audience procurement (across all audiences), web traffic, and time spent on site have all experienced gains by at least 30%.


Client: Intelligence Squared US Debates -
Director of Creative Services & Brand Strategy: Lindsay Nelson
Brand Planner: Laura Meyer

Brand Strategists/Designers: Kovly, Inc.

Photographer: Chris Vultaggio –


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