Our feathered friend: The Charlescannon peacock


People sometimes ask why we use a peacock as part of our brand identity. Sure, they are beautiful, but so are sunsets, cherry blossoms, cartwheels and Naomi Campbell – and none of them made the cut. So why the peacock?

Well, the story goes something like this…

Charlescannon had been open in Switzerland for about five years and our CEO Ben was back in Australia, visiting his parents, Graham and Sharon Pankhurst, (who ran the original Charles Cannon agency in Adelaide). While he was there, a peacock took up residence on the family farm – spending its days strutting around the yard and its nights sleeping on the roof of the family home. 

Watching the bird, Ben marvelled that evolution had favoured such a ridiculously impractical design. The obvious reason behind this is, of course, attraction. Darwin suggested that the reason the bird was beautiful was primarily to attract a mate. But the peacock’s elaborate tailfeathers definitely come at a cost, with some biologists believing that this self-imposed handicap is, in part, what makes the bird attractive to peahens.

Recently, scientists have also begun to realise that peacocks’ fans don’t just make them visually impressive to peahens, the female birds actually feel the males’ displays as well. It seems that peacocks also vibrate their feathers (around 26 times per second) when displaying. This vibration speed apparently correlates exactly with the resonant frequency of peahens’ crests – presumably giving the peahen a rather pleasant tingling sensation.

In some ways, this is similar to advertising and communications. There is obviously a cost to having communications to help you stand out from the crowd, but there are proven benefits too. Moreover, while communications should be attractive, they should also be highly targeted to resonate with a specific audience – often in subtle ways, that are not immediately apparent to those on the outside of that group. We immediately liked the comparison. 

Another sign, if we needed one, that this peacock should become our emblem was that it chose to remain with Graham and Sharon for the rest of its days. The vibrancy it could bring to our presentations and the fact that we could subtly embed a double ‘C’ into our logo (standing for Charlescannon) was an additional creative bonus.     

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