Cox Backs 'Naked' Band

Tweens in select Cox Communications markets in the East will be able to get their rock on as part of an affiliate promotion tied to the launch of the Nickelodeon series The Naked Brothers Band.

The network and Cox cable systems serving Roanoke and Fairfax, Va., and Providence, R.I., are soliciting kids in those markets to become “hometown rock heroes” by creating their own music videos or by covering Naked Brothers songs.

The contest is designed to both promote the show and drive viewers to Cox's on-demand platform, where the winners of the video contest — to be judged by a third party contracted for that purpose — will be featured.

“VOD is a high priority at Nick,” said Lara Salamano, senior director, affiliate sales and marketing, noting that the channel generated 12.8 million requests for on-demand programming in December.

The Naked Brothers Band is described as a mockumentary series about New York brothers Nat and Alex Wolff, the composers and leaders of a world-famous rock band. The show explores their fame friendships, temporary break-up and other adolescent experiences.

The two boys are the real-life sons of jazz musician Michael Wolff (The Arsenio Hall Show), who plays their musically clueless pop in the series, and actress Polly Draper (thirtysomething), who is directing the series and doubles as their off-camera mom.

The word is already out on Naked Brothers within their target demographic. Their single, “Crazy Car,” has been added to Apple's iTunes Music Store library for download.

Nickelodeon has been trumpeting the band by adding content to for the last two months, according to Frank Tanki, vice president, brand marketing. All Web content links users to the broadband portal TurboNick, where young users have generated more than 4 million streams of the video for Crazy Car. That represents 30% of the show-related traffic for Naked Brothers, according to Nick executives.

The channel also fashioned a partnership with clothing retailer The Limited Too, which has placed links to the Naked Brothers content on its Web site, and distributed CD music samplers in its stores.

Street teams have and are also distributing music at tween-focused concerts and at malls.

Nickelodeon, through a partnership with the American Ski Co., also held a screening of an introductory movie for the series at The Canyons Resort in Sundance, Utah, Jan. 20, coinciding with the Sundance Film Festival. More than 500 family members showed up for the screening in the resort's ballroom.

“I was shocked how many kids already know who [The Naked Brothers] are,” Tanki said.

The 90-minute telepic debuted on Nick on Jan. 27 at 8 p.m.

The series, executive produced by Albie Hecht, CEO of Worldwide Biggies and former Nickelodeon president of film and entertainment, begins Feb. 3 at 8:30 p.m., with the weekly half-hour episodes including cameos from the likes of Uma Thurman, Julianne Moore, Tony Shaloub, Ann Curry and Arsenio Hall.

Submissions for the in-market user-generated videos, though, will be accepted through March 9.