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FX brands outside the box

Network creates new marketing campaign

FX has done a fine job of launching and promoting series during the past few years, but it hasn’t been as successful in marketing itself. The News Corp.-owned cabler aims to change that with an image-burnishing campaign set to launch this month that will include a 60-second spot during Fox’s February telecast of the Super Bowl.

Campaign is built around the tagline “FX: There is no box,” which the basic cabler hopes will become as ubiquitous as HBO’s oft-repeated “It’s Not TV. It’s HBO.”

John Landgraf, the net’s prexy-general manager, unveiled the campaign Tuesday ayem at a press briefing, where he showed the various spots that feature brief cuts of the network’s eight regularly scheduled original series. (Three of the spots run for 60 seconds, and there are 30-second ads covering each of the eight shows.)

Landgraf said one of his goals is to implant in viewers’ minds that FX is the home of shows like “The Shield,” “Nip/Tuck” and “Rescue Me,” which try “to obliterate the cliches of standard genres like police shows and medical shows.”

Landgraf said these viewer reminders are needed because focus groups have shown that 50% of adults 18-49 “don’t associate many of our original shows with FX. These people still think FX is a repeat network.”

Even though the cabler plans eventually to spend tens of millions of dollars on the TV campaign, it will begin, initially, only on FX’s sister networks owned by Fox. Fox parent News Corp. is “going to put its considerable muscle behind our campaign,” Landgraf said.

That muscle includes a 60-second FX spot on Fox network’s Feb. 3 Super Bowl telecast.

In addition to “The Shield,” “Nip/Tuck” and “Rescue Me,” the campaign uses scenes from FX’s other ongoing originals: “Damages,” “The Riches,” “Dirt,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “30 Days.”

The official kickoff of the first spot comes Tuesday on an original “Nip/Tuck” episode on FX.

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