Disney turns little girls into princesses

By Raushni Bhagia , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | December 23, 2013
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As a part of its experiential activity, the company is all set to convert 3600 girls into princesses of their choice across eight cities.

After creating amazing experiential opportunities for kids and their parents who were taken to Disneyland under Disney India's activation Jet Set Go, here's another one from the company. Termed as Disney Princess Academy, the month-long activation invites girls to register and 3600 shortlisted girls will be dressed as princesses and will undergo a short be-a-princess training/workshop.

Roshini Bakshi

Still from last years' activation

Still from last years' activation

Still from last years' activation

Roshini Bakshi, managing director, licensing and retail, Disney India, says, "The consumer insight that we have got in our on-going research is three-pronged: every girl loves to dress as a princess; she loves to learn to live like a princess and finally, each one of them wants to meet a real princess at least once in their life. We are giving them this opportunity at the Disney Princess Academy (DPA)."

The event is a global one but it was only last year that the channel thought that the awareness and affinity of the brand has reached a level wherein the on-ground experiential event could be brought to India. This is the second year of the activity; last year, the channel went to five cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad). There were three princesses who met the 1800 participants (chosen out of six lakh registrations) in India - Cinderella, Rapunzel and Snow White.

This year, the channel will host 3600 participants, wherein the little girls will be able to get dressed as princesses and also take away their costumes. They will undergo a small workshop on tiara making, makeovers and ballroom dancing training. Of these, one girl from each city (eight girls in all) will appear on the channel in some way or the other. This year, the academy will be in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, Chandigarh and Kochi.

The academy will be shown in the form of vignettes on the channel, used as fillers.

Of the many characters and product ranges that the Disney merchandising and retail chain deals in, 20 per cent of the total sales in India comes from Disney Princess merchandising.

Bakshi further explains that the brand is more a story-led brand. "We do a lot of things for brand engagement, like TV shows, story books, DVDs and then, this is the experiential marketing. The last leg of the whole thing is when the girls participate and be a part of the magic of Disney or appear on Disney channel and be a part of the fairy tale themselves."

The company carries out Jet Set Go and Disney Magic (involving Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy) in India.

The channel carried out continuous mall activations across India in more than 16 malls between October and December, including princess makeovers, story-telling sessions and other games. The channel invited the children to participate in DPA since November. The girls who will be finalised will feature on the channel in February, so it is an extensive activity engaging with the consumers (kids) across four months.

The promotional campaign was targeted to mothers and young girls.

On TV, it spread across Disney UTV Media Networks' channels (Disney, Hungama and UTV Movies), a GEC and three regional channels, too. The channel has also reached out through in-cinema promotions across four cities in 43 cinemas including PVR, Inox and Cinemax. The radio partner is Radio Mirchi across six cities with spots, RJ mentions and contests. Apart from this, print ads and social media are being tapped aggressively.

On Facebook, an ongoing contest offers DPA passes; an app was also created for the same, along with stamp ads on Facebook. The other promotional activities include YouTube (Disney India channel) and Twitter (disneyindia). Apart from this, mall activities and retail marketing are also being used (standees, danglers, posters and more).

Bakshi adds that Disney merchandising has been growing immensely and more because the brands are very strong in the country. "The other reasons are that the reach of products is across 2000 stores and it is huge. Plus, the awareness among kids is increasing and parents never stop spending on the kids."

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