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Mono Treats USA Viewers, Stars the Same

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CHICAGO Mono celebrates the "characters" who populate and watch USA Network, in the shop's first work for the client since winning the account earlier this year.

Four "Characters Welcome" television spots present "regular" people and characters in their shows as one and the same. The first spot, which ran during the network's premiere of Monk last Friday, shows various regular characters, from a large man who carries a Chihuahua in his pocket to a roller-skating mom pushing a baby carriage. "This is for the people who remind us all the world's a stage," says a voiceover. "This is for the odd, the heroic. The hairdressers. The bodybuilders." As the voiceover continues, the images change to network programming, such as Monk, The Dead Zone and tennis and golf coverage.

"USA Network is so much more than a genre," said Chris McCumber, senior vice president of marketing and brand strategy at the cable operation. " 'Characters Welcome' not only unites and celebrates what USA Network offers—original programming, movies, sporting events—it celebrates what makes this country so unique and interesting as well."

Other TV spots show characters from shows like The Dead Zone and The 4400 in humorous vignettes. The ads will run on USA, as well as other NBC Universal-owned outlets including NBC, Bravo and the Sci-Fi Channel.

The TV campaign will be supported with print adverting in trade magazines, and a redesigned Web site, created by Hello Design.

The MDC-backed Minneapolis agency won the account in February after a review that included independent agencies Modernista! in Boston and Strawberry Frog and Taxi, both in New York.

Spending on the effort was not disclosed. USA Networks spent $20 million on its advertising last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.