Upwork rebrands as the future of work evolves

The freelance platform is out with a new campaign and brand identity.

Upwork has rebranded and launched a campaign to seize on the rise of remote and distributed work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The freelance platform released a new visual identity and tagline, “The World’s Work Marketplace,” along with a 3-minute brand film on Tuesday to highlight its new look.

The film, called “Up We Go,” is inspired by real freelancers and customers who have used Upwork to change their careers or businesses for the better. The film is split into 60- and 30-second segments that will run across TV, digital and social media, out of home, streaming audio and podcasts in the U.S.

“We’re in this big, once-in-a-lifetime shift in how people are working because of the pandemic, and all signs are there's no going back to the old way of working,” said Amanda Leach-Rouvi, VP of integrated marketing at Upwork.

Despite the increased pace of vaccinations and reopenings in the U.S., Upwork believes freelance and distributed work is here to stay, as large companies recognize the benefits of scaling up and down by tapping into a global, on-demand network. Seven out of 10 hiring managers that used freelance talent during the pandemic plan to continue doing so in the future, according to Upwork research.

Employees are leaning into the change, too. According to Upwork, 60% of the 9.5 million Americans who turned to freelancing during the pandemic agreed “no amount of money would convince them to go back to a traditional, full-time job,” Leach-Rouvi said.

“That led us to the realization that we need to rebrand the company to harness this moment and change in work,” she added.

The campaign, developed with creative agency Alto, features the talent and businesses that use Upwork to emphasize its engagement with both groups. The film highlights characters including a graphic designer in London who moves to Italy to be with his partner, and a Silicon Valley software engineer who moves to the Pacific Northwest with his family for a better work-life balance.

“Our marketplace is designed to help customers build long-lasting relationships,” Leach-Rouvi said. “That’s different from other solutions that are more transactional and commoditize independent talent.”

Launched in 2015, Upwork wanted to reposition itself as a “modern, fresh, warm and optimistic” brand, complete with a new logo, color palette, font and illustrations.

The rebrand will be followed by soon-to-be-announced product updates to Upwork’s platform.

Upwork’s customers include small, independent companies as well as 30% of the Fortune 100, some of which are starting to embed the platform into their global workforces. Leach-Rouvi pointed to a CMO, for example, who uses Upwork to tap into a global network of freelancers to run a 24/7 marketing organization.

“The scale and efficiency of that model is pretty incredible,” she said. “Whatever the goal or vision is, they can scale up, hiring skills they may not have on the team or can’t access in the market, and then get that work done.”

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