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Bill Radke: If you have a tween in your house, you’ll want to know that Disney has new designs on his or her allowance money. That band of singing siblings, the Jonas Brothers, will premiere their new sitcom tomorrow on the Disney Channel. Jennifer Collins reports this is not just a TV show, it’s a marketing Blitzkrieg.
Jennifer Collins: In the Jonas Brothers’ new show, Nick, Kevin and Joe are just regular guys with regular problems — that they sing about:
Jonas Bros. Song: I fell in love with the Pizza girl.
Disney’s banking on TV romances like that to drive real girls crazy. Which in turn will drive them to Jonas Brothers’ movies, concerts, and merchandise, and give Disney another teen money-making machine.
Miley Cyrus, a.k.a. Hannah Montanna, is still in the fold. But with High School Musical heartthrob Zac Efron growing up, Disney needs to fill the pipeline.
Jason Squire is a film professor at the University of Southern California. He says Disney’s got the formula down.
Jason Squire: The smart people at Disney position the Jonas Brothers in a series of exposures on different platforms. Each platform represents a different layer of potential customers and revenue.
Customers like 11-year-old Kyla Giron. She’s got a Jo-Bros poster . . .
Kyla Giron So like they signed it.
And one of her friends:
Kyla’s friend: Like she has like a whole outfit of them; like everything of them and like a head band with their faces on it.
But so far, the Jonas Brothers, are no Hannah Montana. Their movie — a 3-D concert — brought in $12 million in the opening weekend. That’s only a third of what the company was expecting, and way out of Hannah’s range.
Squire: Nobody really knows that there is going to be a devoted following of viewers on the Disney Channel to watch the Jonas Brothers.
Kyla Giron says she’s waiting to see if the Jonas Brothers can act. Then she’ll commit.
I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.
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