Fuse Campaign Tweaks MTV

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Fuse: Tons of music videos, but only one bathroom.
Well, Fuse's anti-MTV billboard has yet to go up in Times Square, but a television campaign for the challenger channel will still hit airwaves this week. Like the controversial billboard, the new spots lampoon MTV's "Beach House" programming as a way of reaching out to viewers who see MTV as having abandoned its original franchise: music videos. "The premise is that we have a beach house, too," explains Jason Gaboriau, creative director at Fuse agency Amalgamated. "It's just not as big and flashy as theirs."

To say the least. Shot by HKM directing duo Jacobs/Briere at a rundown motel in Neptune, N.J., the Fuse Beach House -- as one ad notes -- isn't near the beach and isn't even really a house. Rather, it's a place out of some lost John Waters film, where unattractive people wait on line for portable toilets and play Marco Polo in the rusty backwash of a ruined swimming pool. The take away is that Fuse focuses on music rather than on flashy programming amenities. As one wild posting puts it, Fuse offers "Tons of music videos, but only one bathroom."

The television campaign is the first from Amalgamated, the agency launched in June by Cliff Freeman alums Gaboriau, Charles Rosen and Doug Cameron. The Beach House effort follows the agency's first print campaign for Fuse, which featured spokesperson Sally Struthers urging viewers to watch neglected music videos.

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