From Audiovisual Identity Database

Not to be confused with the American television channel MTV (formerly Music Television).
Descriptions by
The Username 15, Logent

Captures by

Editions by
AnimeTVLogos, DisneyInternationalFan, Pyscowicz

Video captures courtesy of
ZeiTsei, Joonas Pajuniva, Kuva Rumpu, Nauhoitevideot


Oy Mainos-TV-Reklam Ab was founded on April 29, 1957 from the idea of producing American-style commercials between Finnish television programs. On August 13, 1957, MTV was launched before Yleisradio began regular broadcasting on its own Suomen Televisio channel. Ever since its launch, the logo for the television company featured an owl and the letters "MTV" stand for Mainos-TV ("commercial television"). Before becoming the Finnish commercial television station in 1993, MTV had programming blocks on both of Yleisradio's TV1 and TV2 channels, and also contained its own programs with commercial breaks. In 1981, MTV began Ten O'Clock news broadcasts on its own programming block and one year later, Oy Mainos-TV-Reklam Ab was renamed to MTV Oy. MTV launched the first nationwide commercial channel in Finland called Kolmoskanava along with Yleisradio and Nokia Oy on December 1, 1986. This gave even more program time to MTV Oy, that towards the 1990's bought the rest of the channel's shares from Yleisradio and Nokia Oy. As a result of the TV channel reform in 1993, all of MTV Oy's programs moved out from Yleisradio's channels and at the New Year's Eve of December 31, 1992, MTV Oy replaced Kolmoskanava with its own commercial television station, MTV3.

1st Logo (August 13, 1957-1968?)

Logo: An abstract owl drawing quickly zooms in on a light grey background, with its pupils replaced by the letters "T" and "V". The owl's beak and feathers make up a stylized "M", completing the name "MTV". It's also sitting on a black line, with the part that overlaps with its body being white. The eyes blink 3 times before the owl finally winks its right eye.

Trivia: The logo was designed by artist Per-Olof "Peppe" Nyström. The logo idea was centered around the slogan "Buy wisely, buy with caution". The original suggestion for the logo involved "Mercury's helmet with wings", but Nyström then sketched an egg that ultimately lead into an wise bird, such as an owl in this case.

Variant: An early variant had the owl colored with much darker tones and no detailing, placed on a grey background. The zoom in is slower as well, the owl blinks 4 times, and holds its right eye closed for the rest of the logo.

Technique: 2D animation.

Music/Sounds: A calm guitar theme that is a re-composed version of Les Paul's single "Brazil" from 1947, specifically the first part. In comparison, the very first two notes from the original single were moved to the end point of the ident. The early variant had the beginning melody repeated 4 times with higher tones on the guitar notes, almost sounding like a ukulele, and there is an extra note at the end.

Availability: Extinct. The logo was used as both a opening and closing ident for the programming block, and as the commercial bumper. Years later, it was featured during the MTV3's 50 anniversary gala on New Year's Eve 2007 and the three-part documentary series Taistelu Televisiosta. It is also used in the official YouTube promo video in October 2013.

2nd Logo (1968?-1975)

Logo: An cartoon owl drops down from the top, plopping itself straight onto a branch and letting its body sink down for a second. It then uses its wings to lift its own body up, in sync to the music, and then places them behind its back while it transforms into the same logo as before, although it has 6 triangles pointing down to represent its feet. The owl winks its right eye like before, and then transforms back into the flat-shaded owl to fly offscreen to the right.

Variants: Two separate variants cut the entire animation in half: the first variant plays the first half of the owl flying to the branch and transforming into the logo and the second variant plays the second half of the owl transforming back and flying away.

Technique: 2D animation.

Music/Sounds: A similar guitar theme to the first logo, composed with a glockenspiel and guitar.

Availability: Extinct. The main variant is used as a opening and closing ident, while the separated variants were used as commercial bumpers.

3rd Logo (December 17, 1975–December 1987)

Logo: One circle, flashing between blue and white, sticks itself out and lays on top of a dark grey background as other circles (colored light blue, light green, dark green, jungle green, violet, pink, purple and mauve purple) form around it, bringing the total up to 48 circles. The same circle flashes again, and zooms into the center of the screen while a white iris-out effect encapsulates the circle. The circle then "rotates" and reveals the face of a simplistic owl as "MTV" appears below. The owl then winks its right eye.


  • The blue, ball-shaped owl logo is nicknamed "Mainospöllö" (Commercial Owl) and was designed by Ilkka Levonranta, who was on the work list in marketing communications agency "Markinointi Viherjuuri (nowadays known as "Evia Oyj".)
  • MTV Oy's official YouTube promo video from October 2013 featured briefly a custom 16:9 version of the 1983-1988 ident.

Variant: Circa 1983, an updated variant was used with significant modifications. The circle pattern had been changed with the amount of circles being decreased from 48 into 42. All circles also have detailed shading on them and the colors are changed to green, purple, crayola red, brown, orange and light blue. The dark blue owl also has shading that disappears around it before it winks. The "MTV" is also in a softer and larger font compared to the original version, and thus has caused the owl to shift upwards.

Technique: 2D animation.

Music/Sounds: A soft synth theme with an uprising sounder as the circle zooms in, along with two acoustic notes which repeat with lower-toned synth notes in sync with the owl blinking.

Availability: Extinct on TV. Each variant was used as both opening and closing idents for the programming blocks on Yle TV1 and TV2. Between 1984 and 1985, there have been occasions when the original 1975-1983 ident was being used instead of the updated 1983-1988 variant. Both two variants can be found in numerous preserved Betamax and VHS recordings from 1980's.

Legacy: It has become a quite fondly remembered television ident by many in Finland, who have seen it from the mid-1970's to the late 1980's.

4th Logo (January 1988–December 1989)

Logo: In a black space with neon lights and dots floating by, we see three polygon spheres (colored black, blue and white) and a yellow equilateral triangle revolving around each other. All of these parts are then linked together and morph into the blue owl from the previous logo, with detailed shading on it. The owl winks its left eye and then zooms away, disappearing with a flash when it reaches the center of the screen. As this happens, the word "MTV", in the same round font, but in a light blue/white gradient and having a medium blue 3D border, zooms in from the center with one letter at a time in time with the music. A dark blue stripe with light lines on it then passes behind the logo and through the screen, while the cyberspace background slowly transitions into a medium blue background with a shadow seen on the edges of the stripes.

Variant: An abridged variant exists that begins with the blue owl already formed.

Technique: A mix of 2D and 3D computer animation. The cyberspace background is from the Cascom Select Effects pack.


  • A mystical, yet calm synth tune, that ends on a bombastic 4-note fanfare.
  • An abridged version of the tune for the short variant, that consists of the bombastic ending.

Availability: Extinct on TV. Both the long and short variants were used as both opening and closing idents for the programming blocks.

5th Logo (January 1990-December 31, 1992)

Logo: As the screen fades in, we see five plates suddenly popping up on a dark blue background that is covered in several abstract white patterns and a pair of light bars, one black and the other turquoise, spinning clockwise at slow and medium speeds respectively: a yellow one appears on the upper left corner, a white one on the upper right corner, a black one on the lower left corner, a red one down the middle and a light blue one on the lower right corner, leaving an empty space on the top of the middle. The light blue plate spins around, revealing the other side of the plate featuring a "1" with detailed lighting on its font, while the white plate also spins around to reveal its back side stating "TV" on a black and white shaded background. At the same time, a huge "M" with red and milky white lighting on its font flips in vertically, while another "M" with straight grey and white stripes swings down from the top of the screen to overlap the other "M". While this happens, the light blue plate spins around again, as the other side features the trademark owl, now with lighting around the rim. After the "M" has finished its animation, the owl winks its left eye and the screen fades to black few seconds later.


  • The prototype variant of both MTV-1 and MTV-2 idents aired between January and March 1990 with slight alterations. The logo has somewhat brighter colours compared to the less opaque ones in the original, most notably the bluish background. The ident also fades to black as soon as the owl has winked its right eye.
  • The MTV-2 variant plays much like the original MTV-1 variant, except the number "1" on the light blue plate is replaced by a number "2".
  • The MTV-3 variant features a number "3" on the light blue plate.
  • For the programming slides, an abridged version has the plates appearing as usual, with the light blue plate flipping straight to the owl, and the "M" just fading in right away before it shines.
  • A "Jatkuu" variant has letters over the blocks J, A, T, K, U, U. The T is uppercase, reading "JaTkuu". And the light blue plate instead flips to the owl replacing the 1 and the U replaced the owl.

Technique: CGI.


  • A loud, bombastic synth tune.
  • A more relaxed, re-arranged version of the original tune on the prototype variant.

Availability: Extinct on TV, like many MTV idents. The MTV-1 and MTV-2 variants were used as both the opening and closing idents for their programming blocks on TV1 and TV2, respectively. The MTV-3 variant was used only in Kolmoskanava before and after the breakfast television program Huomenta Suomi. In 1992, the prototype variant was also used occasionally.

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