For years now, advertisements have featured a logo with the outline of a television tube, usually in red with white letters reading “As Seen On TV,” as the ultimate badge of promotional credibility.
The “As Seen On TV” emblem echoes the logo of TV Guide, the most trusted name in TV guides, and gives the impression that the product or service being advertised is endorsed–much like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval–by the magazine. And despite the emergence of the educated consumer and a healthy skepticism of anything advertised on television, “As Seen On…” continues to be a trusted brand, even though everyone knows that anyone with money can buy time on TV to sell almost anything.
So what’s going to happen in February 2009 when the venerable, bulging TV screen will go the way of the transistor? (Analog television owners can buy a box to convert their TV, but by now, analog sets have become a rarity.) Can this trusted logo be adapted to the rectangular flat screen format and continue to be as credible? I doubt it. So let’s take the time remaining to pay homage to “As Seen On TV,” knowing we will never see its like again.
About Steven Heller
Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.