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FX 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 has rolled out a three-pronged online viral campaign.

Comcast.net is running all three elements, namely 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,” said Fox Cable Networks vice president of affiliate marketing Jamia Bigalow.

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

The exclusive video, which cannot be seen on such portals as MSN or Yahoo, offers a behind-the-scenes interview with the cast and crew of Dirt, Bigalow added.

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,” said Bigalow. “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,” said Bigalow. “The user can pick an article that they'd like to customize — like best dressed on the red carpet, or the best 'geek to chic' — 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 site.

The interactive tabloid will continue running into the season, but Fox has not yet decided whether or not 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,” Bigalow added.

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