Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Fuse tries again

Fuse, Cablevision's struggling attempt to take on MTV, is getting a fifteen million dollar push to try and at least ensure some Americans have heard of it. We suspect this will be the last time Cablevision will bother if they don't see results this time.

The signs aren't encouraging, though:

One of the print ads, “Music is rebellion,” shows a bright red cartoon fist clenching a microphone and was made by the artist Shepard Fairey, who is known for his “Obama Progress” poster. Another ad in the series, “Music is aphrodisiac,” is done in the style of the painter Marc Chagall and shows a floating man admiring a woman whose body forms the shape of a guitar.

A woman shaped like a string instument? Wow, that's a cutting-edge idea that wasn't first done by Man Ray in 1924, isn't it?

The problem is that, at a time when media is being driven in a direction of personalisation, nichedom and slapping a "My" on everything, Fuse seem to be trying to head in the opposite direction:
Guy Barnett, co-founder of the Brooklyn Brothers [Fuse's current advertising agency], said that the new campaign was meant to turn Fuse into a brand that everyone could relate to.

Isn't the idea of a music channel that everyone could watch missing the point more than a little?
“We wanted to create a lot of work, so that if rebellion wasn’t your thing, therapy might be,” he said. “We wanted something that would strike a chord with everyone, that’s why there is such a diversity of art.”

How the channel might be able to deliver that promise, though, isn't clear - perhaps a splitscreen with Steve Earle in one corner and Loudon Wainwright in the other?

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