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Fox Spills Viral Dirt on Cox Series

To support the launch of FX original series Dirt -- a fictional tabloid drama starring and executive-produced by Courteney Cox -- parent Fox Cable Networks rolled out a three-pronged online viral campaign.

Comcast.net is running all three elements -- video, interactive and cross-channel components -- while Charter.net and Time Warner Cable’s Road Runner site have opted to air only the video spots.

“Basically, we wanted to find a way to creatively support the new FX original Dirt while also supporting our affiliates’ dot-net sites,” Fox Cable vice president of affiliate marketing Jamia Bigalow said.

She added that the video component of the campaign, which began airing last month, guarantees at least six video assets before the show’s linear television premiere Jan. 2 at 10 p.m. “One of those [videos] is the exclusive, and then we will continue to deliver videos post-premiere,” Bigalow said.

The exclusive video -- which cannot be seen on portals such as MSN or Yahoo! -- offers a behind-the-scenes interview with the cast and crew of Dirt. Other videos include 90-second promos, a 90-second look at the show’s red-carpet premiere party and a 30-second spot about what makes Dirt original.

“We have in the past supplied videos to cable sites,” Bigalow said. “Nip/Tuck, Black. White. and Thief -- we provided them to Comcast.net, and we were talking with them over the summer about ways to expand the partnership.”

The second viral element is an interactive mock tabloid based on Dirt.

“The viral activity allows users to download custom articles that can be sent to friends,” Bigalow said. “The user can pick an article that they’d like to customize -- like best-dressed on the red carpet, or the best ‘geek to sheik’ -- and they can upload their own face into the photo, then populate it with their name. It’s a fictional article, of course, but one that is kind of fun and in the vein of what is in the current tabloids right now.”

Only Comcast.net is running the mock tabloid, which is co-branded and links back to the Comcast Web site. The tabloid will continue running into the season, but Fox has not yet decided whether to expand its interactive capabilities.

“I think we’ll look to the success it gets early on and then take steps from there, based on how many users access the site and send it on their friends,” Bigalow said.

The final campaign component, a fully branded cross-channel spot, “speaks to the availability of the exclusive video and the viral video,” she added.

That 30-second spot is running across the Comcast footprint.