The Partners dials up rebrand for O2 lifesaver

The Partners has created a brand identity for Airwave, the former division of the O2 telephone network relaunching this week.

Australian investment group Macquarie bought the business-to-business secure communications network from Telefonica, the parent company of O2, for £1.9bn in April.

It subsequently decided a new identity was needed to replace the O2 branding, and to reflect strategic changes.

Macquarie has signalled its intention to develop the public safety communications service, which is used by the Ministry of Defence and the Highways Agency, as well as by police, ambulance and fire services both in the UK and abroad.

The Partners was tasked with creating the new brand and updating the company’s values by the end of this month, having won a three-way pitch in April against The Chase and a local Windsor consultancy.

The Partners’ creative director Nick Clark explains, ‘What’s interesting about this project is that it’s quite emotional and has big purpose for a business-to-business service. We were motivated by its lifesaving service – both the emergency services and the general public have complete trust in it. We then developed the core idea for the brand around [the idea of] certainty and credibility.’

The design uses a mesh of grey and black dots, signifying a ‘safety net’, to convey a sense of the service’s ‘omnipresence’. The logo uses spot red to highlight action.

The brand has been applied to internal communications, including posters, banners and interiors, and will be applied on-line (www.airwavesolutions., in conjunction with IT specialist Edenbrook, over the coming months.

The Partners expects to work on ‘external’ applications of the brand until the end of the year.

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