• Transform magazine
  • March 27, 2023


Palmolive rebrands for cleaner future

TT 11 May Palmolive (1)

U.S. multinational brand Colgate-Palmolive worked with New York City creative agency Clarkmcdowall to rethink its dishwashing liquid as a brand that stands for more than a sole functional benefit. Clarkmcdowall developed a refreshed visual identity that could live in an eco-friendly world, inspiring optimism for everyone.

Palmolive found itself at a pivotal point in its brand journey and was pushed to put a bigger stake in the ground when it came to sustainability. Having already made the decision to move to bio-friendly ingredients in their dishwashing liquid and 100% recyclable plastic bottles, Palmolive needed to communicate this shift both visually and verbally. The challenge was to refresh the brand’s identity to signal change, while maintaining its strong heritage and reputation for making products that work.

The recognisable Palmolive logo remained untouched, while other key elements in the identity were modernised and simplified to better communicate efficacy and highlight the brand’s improved sustainability.

“Leveraging semiotics, we were able to uncover modern symbols of efficacy that brought a brilliant optimism to the brand, replacing the outdated hand-on-glass motif,” says Adrienne Muken, creative director at Clarkmcdowall.

The most distinctive change on the packaging is the central ‘ping’ which acts as an activation point below the Palmolive name to represent the unleashing of an efficacious cleaning power. The newly defined rays that originate from the ‘ping’ also seek to emphasise activation while adding a feeling of optimism.

The equity seal that reads “Tough on Grease. Gentle on Planet” simplifies how Palmolive communicates their commitment to sustainability and provides a subtle nod to their familiar tagline.

“As Palmolive moves forward on their brand journey, this brand refresh can help steer consumers from only thinking of the products as a commodity with functional benefits to a brand that fits in with consumers’ values and lifestyles,” says Muken.

Clarkmcdowall aimed at creating simple changes that would allow the brand to stay true to their core equities while still communicating their new place in the world and have different conversations with consumers.