TVGuide.com may be known for its association with skulls and knives, but that is exaclty what visitors will see when they go to the television programming site today. However, the shift is not an effort to toughen up TVGuide’s image. It is an advertisement.

TVGuide has partnered with the A&E show Tattoo Highway to tatt up its logo. Paul Greenberg, TVGuide’s evp and general manager, tells Minonline: “This was a mutual idea. When you
cultivate relationships like we have with A&E you can work
collaboratively.”

This is the first time that TVGuide has sold its logo to an advertiser,
but it will likely do so again. The change is part of a one-day site takeover. A&E purchased all of
the ad units on the homepage, with the inked logo being the first
image that visitors see when they go to the site. The company came up with the logo ad
idea to promote a previous partnership with Showtime, but never ended
up using it.

While the image is not exactly the most impressive graphic ever associated with TVGuide, it won’t really detract from the magazine’s image, since it is clearly part of a purchased ad package. And as consumers get more adept at ignoring display advertising, brands and publishers are increasingly experimenting with different ways to drawviewers’ eyeballs to their ad content.

Greenberg continues:

“People tend to buy out the program grid or the online video guide for
months at a time, and the next natural step is to sell the whole site.
I think that advertisers today are obviously looking for as much impact
as possible. They want to try to push the envelope and reach audiences
in ways that have never been done before. They value unique ideas.”

Selling a logo isn’t likely to be a game changer, but if it is the icing that makes an ad package more enticing for advertisers, it is likely to pop up again.