Was that a HELIX ad on TV? It was — and here’s why you’ll start to see more

Devco, given opportunity on Big Ten Network, jump-starts efforts to market, promote translational research center it’s creating in New Brunswick

Chris Paladino, the president of New Brunswick Development Corp., loves sports and anything to do with Rutgers University and New Brunswick — it’s one of the reasons he helped support the documentary, “The Forgotten Champions,” on the Rutgers women’s basketball team that won the last AIAW National Championship in 1982.

When an opportunity arose to take two advertising slots during a showing of the film Monday on the Big Ten Network, Paladino jumped at the chance. And he used it to promote another one of his loves: real estate development.

Paladino quickly hired MediaCutlet to put together a 30-second ad on the New Jersey Health + Life Science Exchange, better known as the HELIX — the nearly $1 billion three-tower project that will be a center for translational life science research and more.

“I just seemed like the right thing to do,” he said. “It’s a branding initiative. It’s a great way to bring awareness to the project.”

Now that he has an ad in hand, Paladino said he’s eager to find other uses.

For starters, there are instant opportunities on social media. The ad already has been posted on Devco’s social media sites — and Paladino said the group is getting ready to roll out various social channels just for the HELIX.

In addition, Paladino knows there will be more opportunities on the Big Ten Network, as well as other cable channels.

“With cable, you can buy really targeted audiences and it doesn’t cost a lot of money,” he said. “We’ll probably run it during Rutgers football games next year, but also do shows on MSNBC or CNN just to get a little bit of showtime.

“I think it could attract a lot of attention.”

Paladino will take it.

The first building, which is 525,000 square feet, is essentially leased, with Rutgers taking 225,000 square feet of translational research space and 185,000 square feet for a medical school. The New Jersey Innovation Hub will take 160,000 square feet.

Paladino said Devco is aiming to do excavation work this spring with an opening in 2025.

The next two buildings — one of which will look to bring in anchor tenants (think pharma and life science companies) while the other is seeking service providers (think law and accounting firms) — will follow shortly after.

Paladino already is speaking with potential tenants — and is eager to add more to the list. That’s who this marketing is aimed at.

Cable ads are good way to go, he said.

“We’ve got three other pieces about the HELIX that we will probably roll out in the fall on targeted media,” he said. “We can go south and buy the Philadelphia market or go north to Boston.

“This is just pure marketing and branding. We know that little buys can have big impact.”

The ad, created by Markus Robinson and Kevin Lin at MediaCutlet, described HELIX this way:

“When one idea meets another;

“When one expertise meets another;

“When one point of view meets another;

“Energy is created, momentum generated and new ideas are born.

“A new ecosystem for research, innovation, commercialization and education is coming to life in New Brunswick, New Jersey, at the Health + Life Science Exchange.

“Make it possible;

“Make it happen at the HELIX.”