VH1 was launching a new Thursday night lineup to drive higher ratings, and Dating Naked — a show about people literally dating while naked — was a key show in this new lineup. Yet, we quickly found out that due to the salacious nature of our content, many publishers wouldn’t accept our video trailer. So we took the unconventional approach of using co-created content across digital, TV and print. Our target was people 18–30, so we focused on integrating with content on the top digital entertainment destinations:
For The Onion we got the Ad Czar to post provocative photos of himself from his Tumblr account on National Nude Day and posted in real time to Twitter on the night of the premiere — while nude.
We got Perez Hilton to talk about the show in a video while nude (from the chest up) and to post “nude” photos on his Instagram account.
We also integrated questions about literally dating naked to dating site OKCupid, sponsored posts on Jezebel about a variety of “nude” topics, and placed several posts on BuzzFeed about nudity.
On television, we aligned with synergistic content such as placement on Discovery’s Naked and Afraid and through on-air integration with TMZ.
In print, we brought the awkwardness of dating naked to life by showing both the front and backsides of daters in InTouch and InStyle on cover 3 and cover 4.
Success was off the charts. Dating Naked was not only VH1’s highest non-Monday series launch since Mob Wives three years ago (.5 rating A25–54), but digital engagement rates for all of our partners exceeded industry benchmarks and in some cases were 6x our VH1 average.