“Save the Music Video” Benefit Telethon Heralds Fuse’s Debut
Monday, May 19, from 5 – 7 PM
New York, NY, May 12, 2003 – Sally Struthers’ name is synonymous with two things – sitcom laughs and noble charity works. The Emmy Award-winning actress starred in a long-running public service campaign that raised millions for an international charity. Now, Struthers is working with Fuse, the new music network launching May 19th , to tackle a new cause – saving the music video! Struthers will appear in a series of irreverent print ads and billboards that urge television viewers to “Please … Help Save Music Videos. Watch Fuse.” Debuting May 15th, the ad campaign heralds the arrival of Fuse, which is currently known as muchmusic usa.
“Anyone watching tv lately knows there’s just not much music left in ‘music television.’ But luckily, the music video has found a champion in Fuse,” said Struthers. “I’m flattered Fuse has called on me to use my proven call-to-action approach to help save the music video from extinction.”
“Sally Struthers – who else could we turn to at this time when the music television industry is in such a state of crisis, when viewers see more about the homes musicians live in and the cars they drive than the videos they make?” stated Marc Juris, president of Fuse. “I wouldn’t trust anyone else but Struthers with the awesome responsibility of saving the music video, of bearing the weight of spearheading this mighty cause for music!”
Fuse is an all-music destination driven by viewers, reflecting the rapidly changing interests and irreverent attitudes of its audience. The Struthers campaign was designed as a humorous, tongue-in-cheek technique for reaching these viewers and is part of Fuse’s innovative branding strategy that incorporates a progressive logo, changing taglines and viral marketing. The campaign takes a jab at Fuse’s competition, other music networks that are airing less and less actual music. The advertisements feature a concerned Struthers and the headlines “Every day, thousands of music videos go unplayed,” “Just by watching 3 minutes a day you can show a music video that you care,” and “Right now, a music video is being neglected.”
The advertisements will be featured extensively in New York City through mid-July, on billboards, bus shelters, phone kiosks, MTA buses, vendor umbrellas and wild postings. In addition, the advertisements will run in a variety of advertising and broadcast trade publications in May and June.
“Save the Music Video”: Telethon & Fundraisers
As the network “flips the switch” to become Fuse, it will take the faux pro-social hijinks a step further, hosting a two-hour “Save the Music Video” benefit concert and telethon live from its new street-front studios in mid-town Manhattan. Like the Struthers’ advertisements, the telethon will ask viewers to “Show a music video that you care” by pledging hours that they will dedicate to watching music videos and insuring their survival.
Fuse’s “Save the Music Video” telethon, to air Monday, May 19, from 5-7 PM, will include live in-studio performances, along with pleas for pledges by the network’s VJs and its president, Marc Juris. The event will mark the official opening of New York’s newest street-front television studio at 11 Penn Plaza.
Fuse will further promote its May 19 launch with a guerilla marketing campaign that day on the streets of Manhattan. One tactic will include Salvation Army-styled “fundraisers,” complete with hand bells, megaphones, and sandwich boards branded with the Sally Struthers advertisements, asking for donations of time to watch more music videos. The “fundraisers” will be placed at high-traffic, prominent locations throughout the city.
Fuse is the nation’s only all-music, viewer-influenced television network, featuring music videos, exclusive artist interviews, live concerts and specials – all rooted in music. Fuse reflects the rapidly changing interests and attitudes of its audience by uniting the media platforms that are at the center of their communication and entertainment – TV, online, and interactive games – and by incorporating their opinions and suggestions into its on-air and online programming. More information about Fuse is available at www.fuse.tv.
Fuse is a network of Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc, the programming subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC). A leader in sports, news and entertainment programming, Rainbow owns and manages national and regional networks including AMC, WE: Women’s Entertainment and IFC.