Those of us who grew up during the 1990s watched the slow decline of MTV from a channel that played music videos around the clock to a channel spewing out mindless entertainment in the form of idiotic reality TV shows intended for adolescents. And although the good old days where “music” was the emphasis of Music Television’s programming has long disappeared, the Viacom channel just made it official with their recent logo change.
The new sign — which the station considers more of a refresh than a redesign— will no longer carry the words “Music Television” underneath the famous emblem. With this alteration, popular music fans can officially kiss the age of music videos goodbye as the network takes a more assertive step forward in its plans to replace music videos with programming that includes a large dose of reality television. With shows such as Jersey Shore, The Real World and The Hills, MTV no longer bears any resemblance to its original identity, famous for introducing the groundbreaking concept of airing music videos 24/7.
The logo change is also representational of a growing trend in the marketing world – the increasing flexibility of corporate logos that incorporate changeable images within the design. Joining the ranks of NYC & Company, AOL, and the marketing campaign for the London Olympics, MTV has gotten creative in its attempt to showcase what it has to sell – in this case, programming – within its logo.
With a wider and more transparent frame, the MTV logo is an optimal canvas for integrating images of popular personalities such as Snooki or The Situation within its borders. It is in MTV’s best interest to employ this popular method of advertising, as it effectively familiarizes audiences with the network brand while it pushes the programming at the same time.