Something about me

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

All that buzz around Disney

This blog post originally appeared in Prayag.

We don’t have cable in our home. My 4-year old goes to a school which frowns upon the commercialization of childhood, which means that students aren’t allowed to wear or bring any item with cartoon or movie motifs. Talk about superheroes or cartoon characters is similarly discouraged. My son therefore, is singularly and refreshingly unaware of the whole wide world of Ben 10, Power Rangers, Dora, Elmo and so on. But who has time for all these when there is Disney Pixar?
Yes, the Disney movies are ubiquitous. A stroll down the aisle of any large toy or clothing store confirms my initial suspicion that Disney aims to take over the entire universe, or atleast my son’s little world.
I admit - I am an unabashed fan of the Disney marketing juggernaut. For juggernaut it is; they start with their movies. They follow it up with live shows, toys, clothing and other accessories, the Disney theme parks and tons of other merchandise. And the one thing that makes the Disney machine work so beautifully is just great, compelling content.
Disney is the prime example of an effective integrated marketing company. Exposure to one kind of product leads naturally to interest in another. No wonder Hewlett-Packard hired Disney’s marketing whiz to be their Chief Marketing Officer! If there is anything to be known about consumer marketing, you can be sure Disney has it covered.
In early 2009, they even started merchandising on food products! (Alright, I know this is a little too much). They released Disney-branded eggs to two test markets in Florida and New York. These eggs were packaged in a carton that was plastered with Mickey Mouse’s face, and each individual egg was stamped with the face of a different Disney character, ranging from characters from Toy Story to those in Winnie The Pooh. Many marketing experts argue that Disney’s short-term marketing gimmicks dilute the brand in the long run. What’s next? Furniture? Liquor? Oops they beat me to it - they’re there already!
I do worry about Disney over-saturating the market when I have to head off my son who absolutely needs the latest toy from the Disney stable. Thank God for YouTube, atleast we can watch the movies online for free!

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