Feedback on the Recent McCann Announcement

Hey All!
I will try here to criticize constructively, this latest announcement from McCann.

I’m writing this reply as my own current opinion of course, but I think there are more than a few members of the community suspicious of our partnership with McCann, and I’ll try and explain here.

Not Understaning Decentralization and Community Ownership

What does that even mean “Cardano itself”? I’m not sure. It seems to insinuate Cardano belongs to CF (that’s what I would think if I didn’t know what Cardano is).
(I guess they are the custodians of the brand at the moment, but this is a temporary measure as understood by all, until governance is implemented with Voltaire.)

Very poor phrasing. Obviously they don’t have the mandate to “rebuild” all of these.

Again, very “centralized”, misleading phrasing. The community are not “CF’s partners”, we are “Cardano’s community” (Or maybe they just mean Emurgo and IOHK, that wouldn’t surprise me).

This line really shows the profound misunderstanding I see in this article -
Cardano’s brand and its identity cannot, and should not, be handed down from anyone. They most definitely should NOT “stay true” as “the product” “develops”.
They should perhaps “Maintain Cardano’s original values while evolving to best complement its users/citizens” (or something like that, I’m not a Copy guy, sorry).

Appropriating Credit (Arrongant)

I don’t know that they have really.

Not a chance.

Essentially erasing all history before them, and again, “giving CF the brand” essentially.
I feel that the positioning and the framework at least, were already created very nicely by CF & IOHK mostly, before McCann, not to mention our community (many of whom now work for the trinity, but they didn’t start there).

Right, our community? What about them? Absent, inconsequential. Ambassador volunteers transformed into “partners” from the ecosystem.

What about the fact that Cardano belongs to the world? To those who choose it, and contribute to it? Where is that in Cardano’s new Brand Identity? MIA.

So far what I’ve seen McCann “create” is just a new website design, but in this article it seems they give themselves a big role in Cardano’s future success already.

As a whole, I would rank this article as quite misinformative. My overall response being disappointment, and a sense of coming up against fundamental misunderstanding.

I’m not at all convinced how McMann can help the Cardano brand from their position.
I’m sure they could make Cradano successful like Coca Cola, but is that the type of successful we want to be? Is this “centralized”, patronizing, elitist voice the one we need?

So I’ll also take this chance to ask the “product’s” owners, The Cardano Community -
How can we help them understand? And how can we avoid brand damage if they can’t?
Or if you think I’m totally off base, let me know that :wink: .


Same as Coinbase being the “custodian” of IOG’s ADA holdings. Coinbase doesn’t OWN the ADA but they keep guard of it. CF was meant to operate for the welfare of the system like its guardian, but they don’t own nor control it.

Again, very “centralized”, misleading phrasing. The community are not “CF’s partners”, we are “Cardano’s community” (Or maybe they just mean Emurgo and IOHK, that wouldn’t surprise me).

Most likely IOG and Emurgo.

I don’t know that they have really.

I think what they meant by this is: McCann have assessed Cardano as a platform for societal and economic change, and are pushing for brand and marketing in that direction.

TBH, I personally haven’t formed a concrete opinion yet on the rebrand. I’ve only seen the new website a couple days ago.

I'm starting to like the typeface and the blue, white, red, dots motif, still eh on the website though.

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Not really sure what you’re trying to achieve here. Most of these arguments that you’re making are based on the fact that you don’t agree with the CF being custodians of Cardano. Seems more of a personal attack on the CF rather than feedback to the announcement.

Without the CF, Cardano wouldn’t have any clear nurtured community growth, community funding, project funding, legislature shaping, legal protection, exchange partnership creation… the list goes on

Yes ultimately the project is community owned, but I don’t see how this brand reappraisal has anything to do with that. The CF are shaping the brand of Cardano into something more agile, elegant, modern and powerful than before, with the partnership of McCann (one of the best global marketing companies there is) without this Cardano isnt as prepared to enter the world stage as a global brand, let alone as a global financial operating system!

At the end of the day if you want adoption of the technology then you need some clear, defined branding that is based off the fundamentals of the project, and personally I really like what McCann and the CF have done so far! I’m also excited to see whats next!


Hey @Josh_Munday!
I’m really really all for CF and think they are doing an incredible job. They have all my blessings!
I’m not even sure I’m against hiring McCann, but I’m positive I don’t like the tone of their announcemnt.

Branding is a subtle art, and I can see how my message can be interpreted as a pointless rant.
But I actually want what you want too -

And I get that we’ll have to make all sorts of compromises along the way for the sake of adoption, but I feel the perspective and language I’ve seen so far are off base when it comes to “the fundamentals of the project”. When we make such compromises they should be contrived, not ignorant.

I’m sure you’ve seen the manner in which CF is active with the community, and the recent ITN shutdown vote with IOHK; exemplary conduct, respecting the community ownership of the project.
I’m wary that McCann are not on the same bookshelf as those firms, and that matters (even if they “work for CF”).

Hope you’re not talking about the website design because it is terrible.

No humanity. Doesn’t connect emotionally to the visitor. No human faces which is important for human connection.

Cold and sterile color scheme. Royal blue?

Disorganized. No clear path for visitors. Information is all over the place.

Most people hate it. Foundation got ripped off on this one. Hopefully they can bring on a different company that understands design and usability because this is terrible.

Here is a popular crypto YouTuber discussing the terrible design and also states how most of his viwers hate it as well.

Hey @CardanoMax, welcome!

I get that you don’t like the new design, but I’d like to think around here we try to have a conversation that’s at the highest level, so just complaining shouldn’t really cut it.

So, what kind of designs do like for Cardano that you can recommend? Do you have any examples of the kind of branding style you think we should embrace?
I really like “Discourse”, just off the top of my head.

They hired a corporate focused firm and got corporate speak in return. No personality whatsoever. Tons of tech jargon without a bit of understanding who would be reading their message.

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Don’t have time at the moment but if I get a chance I’ll post some examples.

I’m complaining because that is the only way people in positions of power to make changes will know changes need to be made. If enough people speak up.

As a business owner, I can’t fix problems I don’t know exist. I need feedback from my customers and ecosystem.

As someone who has been involved in all aspects of design, including web design and UX for over 20 years, what I am talking about is web design 101. Any design firm, even at the bottom should know these things. I could find many better designs on Theme Forrest right now that would achieve better results.

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“an experience for users that makes them feel like there’s a person, not a machine, at the other end of the connection. Emotional appeal is key to any interface and more so for design assets that intends to bring users again and again. There is a strong connection between emotions and recall. So design to produce positive emotions. Choose happy colors, use attractive faces, add a dash of fun, make things playful to build emotional connect with users.

But thinking too much gets us tired. So keep things simple. Don’t pack too many things in one space.
The lesser the mental load for the user, the better it is for your design.

Why You Need to Humanize Your Brand

People respond to people – it’s that simple. Steer away from the robotic marketing tactics and instead focus on being relatable, interesting, and most importantly, HUMAN.

The Cardano websites are exactly the opposite of these things.

LOL. I actually just went to re-read the first paragraph. Even worse than I thought. Typical corporate-speak gobbledygook nonsense.

Cardano is a blockchain platform for changemakers, innovators, and visionaries, with the tools and technologies required to create possibility for the many, as well as the few, and bring about positive global change.

It’s a cliche of meaningless buzzwords. “required to create possibility for the many, as well as the few”…LOL this had to have been written by a new graduate. Utterly meaningless. “Possibility”? Can they get more vague. An average user reads this and doesn’t even finish because it’s meaningless corporate BS. WTF is positive global change? That could mean anything.

Who is the website for in the first place? They don’t even know. Do they even have a target audience and goal? I doubt it but whoever it is, they aren’t buying it.

Presumably the foundation has multiple audiences.

  • End users who want to buy and use ADA.
  • Governments, corporations, foundations and entities that could benefit from using the network and
  • Developers to build on top of the network.

The site should focus on these 3 primary audiences right at the top and lead them down the path that is focused on converting them. Every website’s purpose is to ultimately get the user to do something. To “convert” them. To take action in some way. Whether it’s leading an end-user down the path to help they buy ADA, leading an organization down a path to help them learn how Cardano can solve their problems or lead a developer down a path to get them started developing using Cardano’s dev tools.

They do do this but it’s poorly executed. The site needs a less harsh color pallet and much more photos of human faces and activity. More photos of the people at IOHK and Emurgo and more humanity.

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Totally agree with what you say about the corporate mumbo jumbo @CardanoMax, sending the totally wrong message. Humanizing the brand - I agree this should be the main focus, really important that we improve on that front.

As the original poster I’m glad to see others with a similar perspective.
I think you’d agree that McCann are “not seeing the matrix”, and I’m really not sure how we can help with that, other than raise our concerns.
Unfortunately unlike you, I’m no design/UX expert (more of a copy guy :smiley: ).
:pray: :rainbow:

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