The Jonas Brothers’ marketing machine

August 22, 2008, 11:08 PM UTC
Fortune

The Jonas Brothers are masters at generating buzz. The Disney TV movie “Camp Rock” — starring teen heartthrobs Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas — came out on DVD this week, while the band’s new album, “A Little Bit Longer,” opened at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 10. The Brothers’ last album is No. 10 on the list and the soundtrack to “Camp Rock” is No. 8. Meanwhile, Disney’s Miley Cyrus holds the No. 4 spot for her latest album.

Hooray for Hollywood — Hollywood Records that is, part of the Disney operation that is developing human brands better than ever. When “Camp Rock” premiered on the Disney Channel in June it was cable’s No. 1 telecast this year. It’s been surpassed only by “High School Musical,” which drew 18.6 million viewers on the Disney Channel last year. As for the Jonas Brothers, they drew 15,000 bystanders when they performed on Disney’s “Good Morning America” earlier this summer.

It’s not just Disney backing the Jonas Brothers. These guys are real corporate creatures. My cousin’s kids went to a Jonas Brothers concert in Virginia this week and they said that before coming on stage, the brothers appeared in Burger King and Target spots, and a Chevy commercial for General Motors .

My cousin Rachel Stoiber, 14, called the concert “random” — a high compliment from a teenager — because the boys squirted shaving cream, threw drumsticks, and sang against a backdrop of fire and amazing special effects. “It made their concert different, as opposed to just singing,” my cousin said. Rachel’s mom says she thinks that the “Camp Rock” movie, coming after the band’s first two albums, helped expand the Jonas Brothers’ audience to include pre-teen girls. The demos at this concert: 90% girls, age six to 18.

Even my boss Andy Serwer, who went to a Jonas Brothers concert with his two daughters last weekend, said the band wasn’t so bad. And what’s wrong with a boy band that promotes chastity and overall good behavior when teenage role modeling today seems to fall to Britney, Lindsay and Paris?