FX Marketing Push Re-Colors Its World

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FX Networks introduced a new on-air and promotional look across the U.S. last week — when it also broke a special marketing push in New York to tout its launch in the No. 1 DMA.

Time Warner Cable's 1.2 million or so homes in New York puts FX's national subscriber tally over 72.5 million, FX Networks estimated.

FX Networks senior vice president of marketing and promotions Chris Carlisle said the multimedia push is featuring a heavy concentration of out-of-home vehicles. FX has secured space on 350 hot-dog vendors' umbrellas near News Corp.'s headquarters and elsewhere in midtown Manhattan. The idea is to reach the advertising community, he said.

Ads also are running on subways — including a branded subway train — and in buses across the Big Apple's five boroughs, as well as on Long Island Railroad trains and the Staten Island ferry.

Besides its own paid cable spots and cross-channel promos on Time Warner Cable, FX also bought space in the The New York Times, Daily News
and New York Post, as well as a TV Guide
gatefold. Its Web site also reflects the new FX look, Carlisle added.

While the ABC Television Network may "own" the color yellow in its promotional advertising, FX feels it has found its own "genre-based color strategy," built mainly around "acid and X-plant" tints. The former is a mix of green and mustard, Carlisle said, while the latter color combines dark blue and eggplant.

Those colors are being used to promote comedy and drama shows across all media. Promos for sports and movies rely more on black and white, said Carlisle, who was a senior vice president at Warner Bros. before he joined FX in fall 1999.

The national and local thrusts call attention to FX's carriage of the off-net hits Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Ally McBeal
and The Practice, as well as the network's original primetime series Son of the Beach. The three off-net series bow as FX weeknight strips as of Sept. 24 – with Buffy
airing at 7 p.m., followed by Ally
at 8 p.m. and The Practice
at 9 p.m.

Son, produced by Howard Stern's production company, is being promoted via a wallscape on the building next to the morning shock jock's radio studio in Manhattan. In addition, FX placed a two-week blitz on Stern's radio show.

FX also is continuing its so-called "X language," ranging from its "Are you Xperienced?" tag line to references to the three off-net series' "X appeal." He explained the "Xperienced" tag line by saying, "Viewers need to experience our programming to feel it. We're not going to feel it for them."

An FX spokesman said the campaigns boast a "multimillion dollar" combined value. For his part, Carlisle said: "It's the most massive thing we've done since the launch of NYPD Blue
and X-Files."

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