“Stop Z”, the Ukrainian marketing campaign to remove the letter Z from the world’s logos

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

the letter Z became a symbol of support for Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine. Since the first Russian convoys approached Ukrainian territory, the vehicles were already adorned with a Z. symbol , graphically simple, would have started to be used to identify friendly fire, but later became part of ideological discourse when used by official Kremlin accounts despite Z not being part of the Cyrillic alphabet. Those who support Putin started using it in Z and today you can see it on bus shelters, murals, graffiti on the streets and on the uniforms of Russian athletes, like Evgeny Ryov, the swimmer who lost a sponsor for carrying the symbol.


Alexei Fedorenko | Shutterstock

Far from the oz and the hammer, and its socialist connotation, the Z is a fresh and powerful symbol which has gained followers to the point that there are stores in Russia that sell t-shirts, thermoses and posters with the Z.

As a measure to communicate the repudiation of the Russian invasion , a creative agency in Ukraine has launched an aggressive initiative: remove the letter Z from the logos of major brands that use it, until the war is over. The initiative called “Stop Z” was imagined by Nebo , a Kyiv-based creative agency. On its homepage, there is a manifesto that explains the project: “Z is the death of Ukrainian children, women and elderly people. Z are cities destroyed and nuclear power plants captured. Z is hunger, bullying and aggression. Z in a new lie. Z is the new swastika. Z is Russia, which revived fascism in Europe.”

Next comes the call for major brands to stop using the Z in their logos and replace it with a number 3 (in the colors of Ukraine). On the page you can see examples of the Amazon, Zara, Jay-Z and Harper’s Bazaar logos with this graphic proposal.

Last week, the Zurich insurance company removed the white Z-on-blue logo from some of its social media channels to avoid associations with support for Russia (although, as far as we know, this had nothing to do with the “Stop Russia” project). Z”).

William L. Hart