TNT Brand Campaign Mocks Niche Nets


Turner Network Television, moving to the next phase in its six-month-old "We Know Drama" branding campaign, will emphasize its perceived strength in the genre while taking the niche-network concept to the extreme.

The lighthearted effort will complement one launched last June, which consists of vignettes in which such actors as Whoopi Goldberg and The West Wing's Allison Janney offer their definition of drama.

The first new spot broke two weeks ago; two others are slated to run across the Turner Broadcasting System Inc. networks before month's end. Each centers on a fictitious niche network.

TNT has also bought time on such non-Turner networks as Court TV, Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel and USA Network starting Feb. 4, a TNT spokesman said.

One upcoming spot features a truly niche service.

"On the All-Baldwin Network, it's all Stephen all the time," a voiceover says, as actor Stephen Baldwin is shown eating a sandwich in a diner, playing guitar and engaging in other everyday activities.

Following a series of quick-cut scenes from three off-net series —ER, Law & Order
and NYPD Blue — the announcer adds, "TNT: We know drama. They know Baldwins."

The third finished spot will show oldsters playing mah jongg on the fictitious "Mah Jongg Network," then similarly conclude, "We know drama. They know mah jongg."

TNT is showcasing its three off-network drama series since, to date, it's been able to mount only one successful original series, Witchblade.
In the coming weeks, TNT's marketing campaign — developed in association with San Francisco ad agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners — will place at least three more spots into its latest promo pool, a spokesman said.

Those will feature the "Baggage Claim Network" and "Crossing Guard Network."