Disney feathers Upfront nest across linear, social and digital platforms

Technology, holidays and music are three focus points for Disney Channels this Upfront season in a bid to connect advertising dots and dollars across the kids and family portfolio and other Disney ABC properties.

“For so many Disney Channel Original Movies, it’s the music that makes them sticky and relevant,” Rita Ferro, president of ad sales for Disney ABC Television, tells CynKids. “We want to bring it into the conversation with what we’re doing in the rest of our business. Clearly the Country Music Awards are a big family opportunity, and that lives on ABC but could have experiences across the portfolio. And the CMAs have a whole holiday programming element. The American Music Awards are another one that can come into the conversation.”

At ongoing private meetings this month after its Upfront gathering in Orlando, Ferro is walking potential clients through four recent case studies: Aflac, Best Western, Great Wolf Lodge and Honda. Aside from them wanting to reach “mom in mom mode,” Ferro says the commonality among the campaigns “is they took advantage of Disney’s linear businesses but also extended custom content we pushed out through social and digital.”

Still, linear TV remains the central driver. For clients that are using first-party data, whether they’re focused on brand awareness, acquisition of new customers or greater ROI, the stats show campaigns with a linear component have best return. “Those who had been exposed to a linear campaign had a higher conversion rate on other platforms,” Ferro tells CynKids. “There’s more of that coming to bear, not only about the traditional advertising model but about custom content.”

A recent Aflac activation wrapped around DuckTales featured the premiere of the partnership on ABC’s Good Morning America, then custom segment on Disney Channel “with the Aflac duck siting back and watching a segment of DuckTales and being fascinated by it,” Ferro says.

Measurement continues to slowly evolve. “Nielsen is the currency we have today, and we use it as we need to,” she notes. Disney is currently incorporating the new SDK into the DisneyNow app, “which will allow us to roll that viewership into the Nielsen number.” Ferro also noted total content ratings are helping Disney “understand what’s happening, not only on PUT [persons using television] levels but HUT [homes using television] levels… while I’m not sure anyone’s ready to transact on that, it’s giving at bigger lens on amount of consumption happening on other platforms.”

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