Although the American MTV was present in the UK for years before, MTV UK was launched in 1997. The channel is now present in more than ten million homes throughout the UK and Ireland. Although the name refers to the music that originally dominated the channel, it is now most popular for reality shows including My Super Sweet Sixteen UK and Geordie Shore.
The MTV logo has been present on the network in some form since its very beginnings. The logo, which features a blocky upper-case M with TV placed in front in graffiti letters, is very versatile and can be shown in a variety of colour palettes and fills. Indeed, the consistent and yet varied use of the logo design has been a huge part of building the MTV brand throughout the world.
Another change is the lack of a subscript. The old logo design featured the words ‘Music Television’ below the image. Obviously MTV is confident that people will recognize their logo even without a few words of explanation.
Now, however, the MTV logo has been modified in shape for the first time in the network’s history. The change is minimal, involving merely a slight cropping at the bottom of the image. The M is now slightly shorter. This modification will not be noticed by most UK viewers, but it is significant because it represents one of very few changes to the MTV brand worldwide. All of the videos and advertisements associated with the brand will also be changed to mirror the new logo.
One interesting note is that this change is being introduced in markets outside of the United States. We are unsure of whether this is being done to test the logo design outside its key market, or if the old logo design has too much equity in the US to be changed without introduction. Either way, viewers in the UK will be among the first to see and react to the changes.
In addition to changes in the UK logo design, there will be changes to the interstitials and other parts of the brand. Several European design studios have been hired to created new and modern identity films of just twenty seconds, to be shown between music videos and programmes. Because of the different approaches and different groups of people involved, these will be diverse and show a variety of approaches to the new MTV brand. This marketing campaign will replace the PopX1000% interstitials and advertising that hit the UK in 2009.
Even the best-known brands need an occasional refreshing. This is especially true of a brand that must appeal to hundreds of millions of people in diverse markets throughout the world. UK logo design is such a region-specific industry that it is difficult to imagine a brand appealing both here and on the other side of the globe. Many UK television networks and programmes are rebranding right now, but few of these logos will be seen as widely as this one.