Fuse Builds a Home to House Upfront

For its first upfront, Fuse TV created color-coded, living-room-style vignettes to represent different music genres and the event's tagline, "Music has a home again."

By Anna Sekula April 15, 2008, 4:17 PM EDT

A lively performance by Wyclef Jean, met with cheers, screaming, and a lot of dancing, rounded out the night.

Photo: Keith Sirchio for BizBash

Fuse TV Upfront Presentation
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The folks at Fuse TV consider their music network one of the few places where music has a home—and that notion of home informed the design for the channel's first official standalone upfront presentation and party on Thursday night. To produce the cocktail reception, presentation, and live performance for more than 700 guests, Fuse TV director of ad sales and integrated marketing Kim Gleason partnered with LeadDog Marketing.

Held at Espace, the four-hour event was designed to launch the new look and feel of the network and to entice media buyers, and key to this was the strategic build-out from LeadDog. In an attempt to translate the home motif without being too literal and still divide the main room into separate areas, the installation featured white window frames hung from the ceiling instead of walls, custom plexiglass chandeliers, and specific lighting for each section.

Inspired by contrasting music genres, three distinctive lounges represented pop, rock, and hip-hop, with tongue-in-cheek props, candy, and entertainment. For the “Pop” area, the lighting scheme was pink, three dancers performed on a small dance floor, and tchotchkes included shoe-shaped charms and gold-colored jewelry. Naturally, the snacks included ring pops and bubblegum balls. Conversely, the “Rock” room was washed in a green glow and featured metal chains, guitar picks, drum sticks, licorice, and a temporary tattoo artist. And the “Hip-Hop” corner of the space was illuminated in blue, showcased graffiti artist Michael “Kaves” McLeer—one of the stars of Fuse's new series The Brooklyn Way—and supplied guests with heavy bracelets and necklaces (as in bling), as well as Kanye West-style plastic shades.

Other decorative elements included speakers embedded in the eight-foot-tall ice sculpture that sat in the center of a circular bar, walls covered with wallpaper-like patterns (mixing the Fuse logo with musical images), and a girl in headphones lying in a bathtub. The last of those was a reference to the theme, and one of the few decorations in the front room.

Following a short speech from the network's senior vice president of advertising sales, Allan Infeld, and president Eric Sherman, Wyclef Jean took to the stage for a performance. Lasting more than an hour, Jean's singing, dancing, and instrument-playing appearance got an enthusiastic response from the audience, who, at one point, rushed the stage.

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