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Brand Tuning: Mullen Boosts Show On Sci-Fi

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A parallel universe in which men give birth is the setup in a series of television spots now airing for the Sci-Fi Channel.
Created by Mullen, the 30- and 60-second commercials open with scenes from a hospital birthing room, with doctors shouting orders and nurses commanding, "Push!" The camera suddenly focuses on the red, strained, sweating face of the laboring parent--and it belongs to a man. As he holds his newborn child, his wife proudly leans over and congratulates him on a job well done.
"On a parallel earth, men truly understand pain," reads the caption. The ad supports the client's latest offering: 13 episodes of the Sliders series first seen on Fox.
Paul Silverman, who along with Amy Watt served as creative director, said: "It's the Sci-Fi moment. What if you just tweaked one thing in the course of human history? How would that affect the rest of life?"
The spots use what Mullen executives dub "branded tune-in," in which ads attract viewers to a specific show while promoting the parent channel, Silverman explained. "We're using Sliders as proof of the brand."
The tagline for the Sliders effort is: "Same earth. Different dimension." Said Silverman, "The Sci-Fi Channel's tagline is still 'Ever Wonder?' but the two dovetail beautifully."
The spots are supported by print ads that will break in June in TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly.
The Wenham, Mass.-based shop last year won the Sci-Fi Channel's estimated $8 million account.