Case Study: The Walt Disney Company

Marketing Television Like Toothpaste

How do you promote television programming to target consumers who don’t watch much television at all? The answer is by leveraging other non-television related channels of distribution and consumer venues to build awareness for innovative new programming.

Ascension strategists working in Disney’s Buena Vista Television division pioneered an innovative way to drive new viewers to its animated and live action syndicated and network shows.

The strategy was to leverage the appeal of the Disney as part of a third party strategic alliance program designed to get Disney programming exposure in non-television venues like grocery aisles, fast food restaurants, auto dealer lots, and department stores.

The focus was four thirty minute animated shows packaged into a two hour programming block called the Disney Afternoon. The Ascension developed strategic alliance program resulted in a collective $100 million off-channel marketing program funded by strategic alliance partners McDonald’s, Nintendo, Procter & Gamble, and Kellogg’s.

All partnerships brought Disney in-store point-of-sale exposure, television commercial tags in partner product network advertising and in package premiums themed around characters that appear in Disney Afternoon programming.

The strategic partnership alliance program and borrowed interest strategy pioneered by Ascension consultants have been adopted by countless other entertainment companies.

Today this off-channel marketing strategy is table stakes for most movie studios and broadcast or cable television programmers when launching new initiatives.