The All Powerful Walt Disney Corporation

Posted On March 31, 2010

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Cross Promotion for Disney’s Alice in Wonderland

ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott and Mickey Mouse

I have a confession to make to all my readers, I never knew that Walt Disney owned ESPN (and almost everything else fort that matter). Whenever I watch television, I am basically watching sports on ESPN. I didn’t know that when a movie trailer from Disney would come on ESPN, that is was because the Walt Disney Corporation owned ESPN and they were using an advantage based advertising.

Sports Fans Get Used to it

An article by Time Magazine mentions that with ESPN “they bristle at promoting Disney movies on their jock network, even though cross promotion is standard operating procedure at media conglomerates”. The effectiveness of this method makes it worthwhile for every conglomerate to implement because it is a way to advertise to many viewers while saving money because they own the program. Since the Walt Disney Company owns ESPN, it isn’t going to cost much money and the advertising can reach to a different type of viewer. Instead of focusing on advertising a movie to kids on the Disney Channel, advertising on ESPN can reach parents and try to convince them to go see the movie for their kids.

Are We Feeling Some Toy Story 3 Anybody?

I am a tad bit ashamed of not knowing about the relationship between ESPN and Walt Disney, so I will help to promote Disney’s next movie, Toy Story 3, with a cross promotion strategy to be implemented on ESPN. A complaint I have always had is when I see a movie and a sport advertised in the same commercial. I find it to be lame because both the advertised movie and sport have nothing to do with each other, it lacks any creativity. Showing a movie’s action scenes and NBA players dunking is just lazy, there is no connection to the two.

This is just an example of what I am talking about, this commercial is not a terrible one though

Let the Annoying To Some But Effective Advertising Begin

This process seems to be relatively easy to promote because this website states that Sportscenter, the popular show on ESPN that recaps and highlights sports from the day “averages 100 million viewers a month”. All it takes is to force the movie into the viewers’ minds, providing a movie trailer that might produce a chuckle from the viewer to get them to consider seeing the movie, if they had not planned to already.

Of course the athletes would say how much their family enjoyed the movie. I would air the commercial interviews on all ESPN outlets for around two to three weeks to give viewers the incentive to see the movie. If a movie trailer is not a good enough reason for some viewers to want to go see the movie, then the fact that seeing athletes you watch enjoy that movie might get you to reconsider.

My last idea for the cross promotion campaign would be to plan a televised game on ESPN to broadcast a game that has the team’s home arena having a “Kid’s Night”. This would work better in the regular season instead of the playoffs for basketball. For example, say if the Los Angeles Lakers are hosting the Denver Nuggets in the Staples Center, the arena will have a “Kid’s Night” giving all kids a free toy from Toy Story 3. The game would be around a couple of days to a week before the release of the movie.

What this does is that the movie is advertised on national television to viewers at home watching the game and to all the kids at the arena receiving the free toy. ESPN would advertise that it is “Kid’s Night” at the Staples Center, and there would be footage of kids holding their toys from the movie Toy Story before the game starts. Kids at the arena will want to see the movie since they have the toy now, and kids who might be watching the game would want to pressure their parents to go see the movie because the movie is constantly being advertised. Also parents will have the idea of Toy Story 3 in their mind because they will frequently see or hear things about the movie, it will be stuck in their mind. For the viewers at home, get ready, commercial breaks mean an opportunity to show athlete interviews about the movie and the movie trailer itself. You can’t stop the advertising can you?

Tired of Cross Promotion Yet?


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