Disney Media 03/15/17

Disney Media Upfront
March 13-15

Rita Ferro, president of sales for Disney-ABC, gave CynKids the playbook for how the company aims to top its 2016 Upfront – which yielded a 20 percent spike in ad commitment volume across Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD and Radio Disney, among other properties. With content including live-action series Andi Mack set to bow on Disney Channel, a new Guardians of the Galaxy season on tap for Disney XD and a new Muppet Babies headed to Disney Junior, “The importance of multiple screens and how we think about the ecosystem from linear to OTT to apps to our games has never been more important” in a continuing measurement-challenged environment, Ferro says. “Advertisers are challenged to figure out how to measure kids. The common currency isn’t keeping up with kids’ move to different platforms. We know kids are the earliest adopters of those platforms so bringing to bear all of the possible touch points across an execution of a media commitment from a company is going to be the focus for us from a television and video perspective.”

To help fill the gaps, Disney is showcasing for clients a suite of tools to gauge accountability across screens, social media and live events, including the April 29 Radio Disney Music Awards. “We’ve built multiplatform tools, we also have very rich third-party data from our data management platform, and we’ve done some qualitative studies around that show the impact and halo effect and intent to purchase on programs and partnerships that have been done across Disney.” The toy and studio categories point to another robust market, Ferro says. “Toy Fair was really strong, there’s a lot of growth in that area, and the studio slate next year across all studios is really strong. So when you think about the anchors that move the kids and family marketplace, those two categories take such a big share of the market that when they are robust it tends to be a robust year.” Additionally, co-viewing engagement and the impact kids have on purchasing decisions, especially in millennial families, is opening new doors. “There are a lot of brands that want to do things in the space to drive incremental revenue that are different than their traditional media buys in the past,” she says.

Ferro in February was promoted to her role overseeing sales operations across all Disney-ABC broadcast, cable and digital teams except for ESPN from her post as EVP of Disney Media Sales and Marketing for Disney Channels Worldwide. The complete integration of company ad sales won’t happen until after this year’s Upfront, she tells CynKids, but conversations with clients are under way. “This Upfront will likely be very flexible. The broad and across [the portfolio] conversations are more at the agency level, and to an extent across some of our key strategic clients,” she says. “And then there are others… if you think about some of the toy brands, they are driven by our kids and family portfolio however there will likely be an opportunity given the integrated structure to bring other pieces into that conversation as well.”

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