A brand refresh for music powerhouse, PPL

  • Laura Hodgson
  • Kimberley Bourne-Hallett
  • Francesca Abbott

From collecting £1 million in their first decade of business to now collecting almost £250 million a year, PPL is a leading music licensing company, ensuring performers and record companies are paid for the use of their recorded music when it is played on radio, TV and in public places. In time for its 85th anniversary, PPL commissioned brand communications agency BEAR to refine and refresh its brand and positioning. Having already worked with PPL to develop the branding for PPL PRS Ltd. – PPL’s joint venture with PRS for Music, which offers a single licence, TheMusicLicence, to those wishing to play or use music in their businesses - BEAR’s challenge was to enhance the identity of the 21st century music powerhouse in this new era of its history. BEAR was tasked with ensuring that both brand and website worked harder to reflect PPL’s position and role within the overall music industry… both in the UK and internationally. The purpose was clear - give back to music - but the old identity did not fully reflect this. To move forward, PPL sought to evolve its identity to ensure the business was communicating its purpose with absolute clarity. The solution was simple, and it was staring BEAR in the face the whole time. PPL’s members record music and their licensees – from shops, clubs, and hairdressers to gyms, hotels and businesses – play it. Simple. BEAR saw a real opportunity to own this familiar symbolism with gusto. By bringing these recognised symbols front and centre it allowed them to create something truly ownable for PPL. Alongside a brighter colour palette, modernised logo, engaging photography and a new website, BEAR created a refreshed brand that was reflective of the industry it sat in without losing its strong commercial standing in the business.