Push Creative Seeks Serious Male Viewers for TNN

NEW YORK As part of its effort to reach a new, broader male audience, TNN is running a series of television spots to honor Black History Month.

“They came to us and said they wanted to do something on Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month,” said Rudy Gaskins, creative director and founder of Push Creative in New York. “They gave us a clear sense of who their audience is right now. Men 18-49, guys who would read Maxim magazine. Not an overly serious bunch.”

TNN used to be The Nashville Network, focusing on country music news and personalities. About a year ago, it became The National Network, a self-described channel for men in the same way that Lifetime is a network for women.

“Given that the subject matter is serious, you can’t be irreverent about it,” Gaskins said about the spots he created. “What we decided was that those irreverent types of viewers want real information, but they don’t want it in the form of traditional platitudes. They want something relevant to their lives.”

In all, seven spots will run during the month of February showcasing real people who have overcome adversity to start their own businesses. The subjects’ achievements in life are admirable but not so far out as to be unattainable, Gaskins said.

Push also created a series of spots that ran in January to honor Martin Luther King Day.

In one, a split-screen shows two men, one white, one black, talking directly to the camera. Their monologues overlap so that certain phrases stand out. “What I love about being black is that we invented the blues out of pain,” the black man says. The white man shrugs and says, “They say you know when you’re white you have power, you can open doors.”

In another spot, a light-skinned black woman with blondish hair and light eyes says, “I’m biracial. Blacks don’t accept me for being black, whites don’t accept me for being white. I wish I could go through life and move through the world being accepted for who I am.”

The spots conclude with a small logo showing “The New TNN” wrapped around an American flag and the tagline, “Martin Luther King Day. Get into the conversation.”

The ads honoring Black History Month will run on TNN throughout February.

Documentary filmmaker and news producer Gaskins said Push also does internal videos for clients such as American Express and Outback Steakhouse to educate and inform employees. Push has also created promotional spots for Lifetime Television, ABC News and Good Morning America.