Ad Comedy 'Trust Me' Pitches Viewers, Ad Community

TNT has begun rolling out the off-air portion of its launch campaign for a show that promises to receive considerable talk on Madison Avenue--and not necessarily from interested ad buyers. The effort for "Trust Me" employs "takeovers" of phone kiosks throughout Manhattan, including along Madison Avenue.

More a dramedy than drama, "Trust Me"--which debuts Jan. 26 at 10 p.m.--stars Eric McCormack ("Will & Grace") and Tom Cavanagh ("Ed") as creative partners at a Chicago agency that smacks of Leo Burnett. As AMC's hit "Mad Men" offers a peek inside the histrionics of a 1960s New York agency, "Trust Me" hopes to do the same with a conventional firm--the fictional "Rothman Greene & Mohr"--and the modern ad business.

After plugging the series--which targets females in the 25-to-49 demo--on-air in the fall, TNT has added out-of-home and print components to the mix. In addition to New York, phone booths are also being used along the Miracle Mile in Chicago, while spreads are appearing in People, Rolling Stone and other publications. TNT said "coffee shop promotions" and "digital partnerships" are on deck.



The creative does not have a tagline, although the first episode features a riff about why clients demand them. It does include summations such as: "A new series about good guys and ad guys" and "They'll sell everything but their friendship."

The campaign, particularly the out-of-home portion, is aimed--at least in part--at media creators, buyers, strategists, etc. "The ad community is tapped into pop culture far more than the average viewer and is very influential in making entertainment recommendations," wrote Tricia Melton, who oversees marketing for TNT, in an email. "We'd love for this series to be top-of-mind with the ad community. Beyond that, we'd love our agency partners to sample the series and chat about it."

The humorous opening scene in the "Trust Me" pilot features McCormack and Cavanagh's characters sitting poolside while on a 10-day photo shoot in Los Angeles--then being lured back to the Windy City with the promise of creating a Super Bowl spot. The first episode also features "Rothman Greene & Mohr" trying to hold onto a $75 million mobile phone account, and hiring a new Clio-winning copywriter who wrote Bud Light spots for DDB Chicago.

The series should benefit initially from debuting after a new episode of the hit show "The Closer."

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