With the coronavirus spreading around the globe, automakers want you to know that they’re in this with you. And that means that if you have to social distance, they’re going to try to do the same.
Over the last week, marques like Audi and Mercedes-Benz have tweaked their logos in the name of social distancing. The strategy has seen the brands deconstructing and spacing out their iconic emblems and badges as a way of highlighting the importance of limiting non-essential contact and keeping at least six feet of distance between you and others.
Last week, Audi unveiled a temporary redesign of its logo, showing the four interlocking rings that make up its badge evenly spaced apart so that none come in contact with another. The new logo was released alongside a video clip that ends with the message, “Keep your distance. Stay together.” Parent company Volkswagen did the same, unveiling a new symbol in which the distance between the V and W has been dramatically increased. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz shrunk the three-pointed star in its logo down so that it no longer comes into contact with the surrounding ring.
Of course, it hasn’t just been car companies that have played around with their logos as a response to the pandemic. McDonalds split apart its golden arches, and Coca-Cola launched a new slogan: “Staying apart is the best way to stay united.” Meanwhile, footwear giant Nike didn’t alter its famous swoosh but did launch a campaign urging people to “Play inside, play for the world.” That message has been shared with millions across the globes by stars like LeBron James and Tiger Woods.
While the new logos are a good reminder to practice social distancing, they have also garnered criticism from some analysts and experts. “[Brands] designing social distancing logos have the potential to diminish the severity of what we are going through,” Douglas Sellers, executive creative director for firm Siegel+Gale told CNN.
Fortunately, it would seem that Volkswagen AG and Mercedes-Benz are putting their money where their mouth is. Both have shut down production in Europe, and Volkswagen is one of many brands attempting to help produce ventilators, a vital tool in helping victims of the virus to survive. And earlier this week, Mercedes-AMG’s F1 team announced it had developed a new CPAP machine that it hopes will help Covid-19 patients.