Can The Jonas Brothers Break Out Of The Teen-Pop Bubble?

Some experts say the boy band's VMA performance, nominations could accelerate mainstream success.

It’s been an interesting summer for the Jonas Brothers. With a #1 album, A Little Bit Longer, and several major projects in the works — including a TV show and a movie — they’ve fully succeeded in causing boy-band hysteria that hasn’t been seen since Justin Timberlake left ‘NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys became men.

With the VMAs coming up September 7 at 9 p.m. ET, the three brothers — Nick, Joe and Kevin — find themselves on the brink of mainstream success. They have two VMA nominations — including the big one, Video of the Year — and are set to perform to an audience whose demographic can skew older than their current fanbase.

“Well, to the average adult, all their music may just seem like bubblegum — but when you really look at it, they’ve clearly grown,” Kabeer Maholtra, a publicist at Girlie Action Media & Marketing, said. “They’ve made the move from Disney-only. They’ll be playing the VMAs, which obviously has an older age demographic than Disney, so they’re expanding from tweens to early teens.” Girlie Action worked with the Jonas Brothers before they hooked up with Disney in early 2007.

“They also seem to have an instinctive ability to market themselves — each of them has their own look that is pretty well-defined,” he continued. “They’re going to have long-term success because all three of them are vital to the band’s popularity.”

This is obviously a huge year for the guys, and the VMA nominations could be the thing that launches them into the pop-culture stratosphere. Joe Jonas recognizes this as well: “It’s a first year for a lot of things for us, so we just want to thank the fans.”

While the group originally said they’d be “Burnin’ Up” the VMA stage with their hit single, reps now say their song choice for the show is top secret.

The media are also excited about the Jonas Brothers, who are already sensations in the tabloid press. “I definitely think the Jonas Brothers are capable of breaking out of their teen-pop bubble,” David Caplan, staff editor at People,, told MTV News. “They’re a very marketable group, and their reach extends not only to teenybopper girls, but they still have fans [who are] guys and they’ve managed to keep their relevance because of all these other projects. They are emerging as a franchise.”

With the possibility of street credibility on the horizon, these guys are ready to take over the music industry. “The VMAs are going to increase their visibility with the music community and those who perceive them as the male equivalent of a Miley Cyrus,” Caplan added.

Could VMA weekend be the right time for the Jonas Brothers to leave their Disney image behind and push through to the mainstream? Only time will tell, but if teenage girls have their way, it just might happen.

It’s a wrap! Now that the 2008 VMAs have come and gone, check out all the winners, the most surprising moments, the best red-carpet fashions and more at VMA.MTV.com.