Disney turns its target audience, tweens, into pop stars

By Chhavi Tyagi , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | May 18, 2009
Walt Disney comes back with The Big Pop Star Dream again this summer to give Hannah Montana's fans a chance to be pop stars

The channel from the Walt Disney stable came out with the second edition of its Big Pop Star Dream to treat its Hannah Montana fans with a pop star experience. Hannah Montana, in its third season, is one of the most successfully running series on Disney in India and although the show enjoys a strong viewership base amongst its target audience, the channel came out with this contest driven campaign to connect with the fans.

Devika Prabhu, associate director, programming, Walt Disney Television International India, says, "Hannah Montana has become an iconic figure for the tweens and fans can't help but wish and dream for more of the Hannah experience. Thus, we thought of introducing this new aspect to make their dreams come true - make them experience what it feels to be a pop star like Hannah for a day."

The property, Big Pop Star Dream, was launched last year and was mostly kept on air. However, this year, Disney gave it a few tweaks and brought it on ground to give it a more personal touch. The campaign, like last year, started with fans being invited to audition, singing their own rendition of the show's title track by calling up on IVR (interactive voice response) lines and answering a simple quiz based on the show.

& #BANNER1 & #Based on these auditions, which saw 27,000 fans participating, 1,600 girls were selected for the next and the final phase of the activity. These fans were invited to perform on the Hannah Montana Pop Star Mobile Van in front of the other fans. The activation was taken to three metros, Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, and the final performance was held in a pre-decided location in all these cities. The last one was held in Inorbit Mall in Malad, Mumbai. The activity was promoted on the network channels and locations revealed to get a good crowd.

On the choice of the three metros, Prabhu says, "Our statistics and the feedback that we get show that these cities have the largest fan base in India. However, we are taking a phased approach and will include other cities' fans in some other activity soon."

The icing on the cake for these girls was getting their own album recorded and presented to them, with a personalised cover on it. To complete the experience, a stylist in the van gave all the 1,600 girls a Hannah Montana look.

While last year all the selected girls got their songs played on the channel, this year Disney will showcase a special pop star gallery on Disneychannelindia.com, featuring the audios of the finalists, along with their personal album covers. While the concept was germinated in the Disney office, Prabhu says, "Who better than us to understand what our fans want." The channel hired Encompass Events to handle the execution.

The channel is also experimenting on other fronts to extend the Hannah experience for its fans. Disney Consumer Products will soon launch a host of Hannah offerings, including home furnishings, personal care, toys and role play sets, Disney Publishing Worldwide's Hannah Montana titles, Hannah Montana digital experience through downloads, wallpapers, games, themes, ring tones, caller back tunes from Disney Interactive Media Group and an all new mini site sporting Hannah's new look, new games and downloads, along with a cover styler application on disneychannelindia.com.