Captivating Contests for the Creators of the Mouse

The Walt Disney Company uses social media contests to attract fans and increase enthusiasm.  By promoting online connections through social media, the company is really establishing stronger bonds of brand loyalty and connectedness with their customers.  As David Meerman Scott relates in his book, it is critically important in such a digital age, for companies to get connected through social media.  There are no charges to get connected in this way, and with increased brand recognition, higher brand authority, and the opportunity for customer insights, there are really no downsides to social media application.

Through social media, the Walt Disney Company has also become very invested in contests and sweepstakes programs to further involve customers.  For example, this year, Disney launched a “Show Your Disney Side” contest.  Using the hashtag #disneyside on all social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, Vine, and Instagram, individuals were chosen to be featured on the Disney Side Website.

Disney Examiner articulates that Disney Side is, “a place where guests get to show off their crazy, fun, cheesy, and happy times while living in their Disney dreams. They’ll be able to do that by sharing those moments on social media because that’s where most people (especially Disney fans) are nowadays as seen in the massive amount of moments that are already shared there. The fact that Disney is already making their following and guest engagement stronger through social media plans like these are really appreciated by people like us because we believe no one will know their Disney side until they see yours!”

Through this social media contest, top candidates had the opportunity to win Disney Parks Vacations and even cash prizes.  Using incentives such as these, The Walt Disney Company is really drawing customers in through social media and ultimately benefiting from the promotional effort.  An additional nationwide competition Disney participated in was the Cheer on Your Disney Side campaign promoting ESPN.  Again, using these online social media sites to promote such contests are benefiting the company at large tremendously.

Some of the benefits of social media contests discussed in Professor Sweet’s class include the following:

– Contests connect with consumers

– Consumers get something for nothing

– Companies earn Quid Pro Quo (something for something)

– Represent real engagement

– Pro-sumer opportunities (producer and consumer)

– Surprising creativity

– Contextualized to various SM platforms

– Contests reveal:

○ Social media as communication platform

○ Social media as testing platform

○ Social media as recognition platform

By employing social media contests such as that which is presented above, The Walt Disney Company is using its’ digital footprint wisely.  Through contests, Disney is building up brand loyalty in a way that is current and in line with the modern times.

What are some suggested contest or sweepstakes ideas that huge companies such as The Walt Disney Company might consider pursuing?  In what ways do you feel contests help consumers to feel more connected with an institution?

The Importance of Thought Leadership Marketing with Disney

Like any industry front-runner in today’s marketing sphere, The Walt Disney Company has thought leaders within each section of their organization.  These leaders think innovatively and out of the box when it comes to creative projects and research ideas to pursue.  Outstanding individuals are what drive the company as a whole to the success and achievement it has earned.  These corporate thought leaders work within the company to advance the organization at large.

The Walt Disney Company as a whole also serves as a thought leader in the family entertainment and vacation industry today.  As such, it is recognized by competitors and consumers as the ground-breaker that demands authority and succeeds in its’ specific area of expertise.


Thought leadership marketing is “Using a variety of media– blogging, social media, websites, video, whitepapers, books, e-books, webinars, speaking appearances, etc. — thought leadership marketing aims to earn trust, build credibility and develop recognition that differentiated you from your competition” (Professor Sweet, Digital Marketing).  While it is not intellectual capital or subject matter expertise, thought leadership marketing is “about developing, capturing, and marketing your intellectual capital” (Professor Sweet, Digital Marketing).

The Walt Disney Company uses thought leadership marketing to share content about the industry at large with its’ consumers instead of just trying to sell products.  It also consistently keeps the viewer in mind and caters to their questions and interests instead of strictly those within the organization.  As an extension of the brand, thought leadership marketing has benefited The Walt Disney Company greatly in its perception and credibility.

What are some other companies/organizations or individuals which also serve as thought leaders in the family entertainment industry?  What other names come to mind when you think about thought leadership marketing?

Disney takes on Instagram Advertising

The Walt Disney Company continues to adjust its digital marketing approach with each new product publicized.  Most recently, (Friday November 7th) Disney released its newest animated film, Big Hero 6.  The marketing strategy of this movie is particularly noteworthy because it is among the first to use a new digital advertising tool.  Disney along with the CW, Activision, Banana Republic, and Lancôme are the first companies to use Instagram video ads to promote their products.


The creators of Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) had been searching for an area in which they could make profit, while also keeping users happy with their online experiences.  For six months, they had been testing Instagram video ads, before they were introduced to the public earlier this year.  Disney’s first 15 second advertisement promoting Big Hero 6, shows the two main characters taking a selfie.

Disney’s Big Hero 6

The digital and increasingly mobile marketing domain is growing daily.  Mobile advertising is also becoming a larger piece of many products marketing mix, including Disney products.  As Stephen Kapusta expressed during a presentation on Luna Metrics in our Digital Marketing class today, mobile marketing is certainly not going away any time soon.  According to his predictions for the future of the marketing industry, increased spending and competition in the digital space are huge factors to consider.  Mr. Kapusta also highlighted that mobile advertising has increased by 81% during this year alone.  It is inevitable that this industry will only grow to be a more powerful force in the marketing sphere.


In what additional ways do you feel that The Walt Disney Company should be expanding to the mobile market with any of its products?  What is your reaction to the Big Hero 6 Instagram advertisement released by Disney?

YouTube… the Latest in Digital Marketing Trends

The Walt Disney Company is constantly adjusting its digital marketing strategy to the current trends in society.  For example, Disney’s release of Frozen in November 2013, triggered countless individuals to create YouTube videos reenacting musical numbers throughout the film.  Some of these independently created Frozen-inspired videos are linked below.

little girls

  • Disney and Pixar Sings Let it Go
    • Who knew independent performer Brian Hull would attract over 15,962,226 views on YouTube with this creative performance of Disney and Pixar characters singing the popular “Frozen” song.

disney and pixar

  • Let it Go REMIX (Dad and daughter duet in the car)
    • Dad, Billy, and three year old daughter, Blakely, look like they are having the time of their lives in this video (receiving over 13,245,977 views) as they enjoy performing Disney’s “Let it Go”.

dad and daughter

good looking couple

While The Walt Disney Company did not plan or arrange for these people to create promotional videos for their movie, they did so regardless.  In this case, “Frozen’s” digital marketing platform relied largely on unofficial YouTube videos.  Disney is proving that advertising platforms may not always rely completely on a company at large.  By providing viewers content that they are happy with, those viewers often continue to share and in turn provide marketing for that business.

With today’s digital and online cultures growing so rapidly, promotional efforts are continually being focused on sites such as YouTube.  While everyone is now able to product their own content, there are more and more opportunities for everyone to be a publisher.

The Walt Disney Company seems to have embraced this digital marketing trend, by advertising in less traditional forms and allowing viewers to create their own content.  By embracing current trends, Disney continues to be a leader in the digital marketplace.

Disney is Better Off Thanks to Blogs

Included in the super-set of social media, blogs, are an extremely valuable digital marketing platform for organizations including The Walt Disney Company.  As such, blogs are ideal areas in which communities of individuals interested in all things Disney can connect and communicate.  While The Walt Disney Company provides its’ own official blogging sites, countless other Disney fanatics have also begun blogging on their own Disney related online platforms.

Official blogs of The Walt Disney Company include:

  1. Disney Post
  2. Disney Parks Blog
  3. The Disney Cruise Line Blog 

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Unofficial blogs relating to The Walt Disney Company include:

  1. Oh My Disney 
  2. The Disney Blog 
  3. The Disney Food Blog 
  4. Disney Tourist Blog 

As discussed in Digital Marketing class with Professor Sweet, using social media plugins on blogging platforms is a terrific addition.  All of the aforementioned blogs offer subscription to RSS feeds as well as easy connectors to other social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.  Using all social media platforms together, provides an even stronger foundation from which viewers and bloggers can connect and share in community together.

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The official blog sites of The Walt Disney Company focus on providing content to their viewers.  Instead of trying to sell readers on specific products or vacation packages, the blogs all relate to audiences through recent happenings in the company.  For example, Disney Post recently shared how ESPN is using mobile phones as a primary resource to connect with interested individuals and in September 70.1 million people accessed ESPN through mobile devices alone.

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Unofficial Disney blog sites, “created by fans for fans” also promote content for The Walt Disney Company.  Bloggers review special events that they took part in at Disney locations, offer character quizzes, and share their favorite things Disney-related.  While they are not working in any way for the company, these bloggers are really offering digital marketing for Disney.  By providing public relations, bloggers offer credibility and a realistic, person to person communication element that larger official sites often cannot exhibit.


Through both official and unofficial blogging, The Walt Disney Company is largely benefiting from having an active social media presence online.  By offering connectors to related social media and content marketing to viewers, blogging is effective in allowing individuals to get engaged, communicate and connect with one another, and track Disney trends in the industry.

Signs of a Well-Marketed Brand

The Walt Disney Company has an extremely active online presence, whether it be from its own created content, or other Disney Inspired websites and social media outlets.  Disney has established an exceptionally loyal fan base which often turns to the internet to express its undying dedication to Disney.  Included in this following are Disney inspired wedding dresses.

 Alfred Angelo is recorded as the world’s largest family-owned and operated manufacturer and retailer of bridal gowns.  Aside from wedding dresses, the company sells bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses, and mother of the bride dresses.  With five total lines of gowns, Alfred Angelo is celebrating its 80th year of business this year.

disney dress 2

In September of 2010, Alfred Angelo and The Walt Disney Company teamed up to develop Disney-inspired wedding dresses.  The line features dresses based off of Disney Princesses: Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, Belle, Tiana, and Jasmine.  With 97,241 likes on Facebook and 2,822 followers on Twitter, Alfred Angelo has a great fan base as well.

disney dress

Listed below are a number of pages found online that promote the Alfred Angelo Disney-inspired wedding dresses.



Us Magazine Online 

CBS News Online 

E Online 

The Walt Disney Company has certainly made a constructive decision in teaming up with Alfred Angelo.  There are countless positive online marketing responses to this smart business union.  Social media outlets such as Pinterest and Tumblr are used in this case as marketing platforms for Disney and Alfred Angelo customers.  Both businesses also have the opportunity to monitor what people are saying about their products online.  It is definitely a sign of a well-marketed brand, when there are boundless responses to that companies union with another organization, as we see in this Disney-inspired wedding dresses example.

Digital Disney Dominates

When it comes to knowing how to best serve your customers, the Walt Disney Company is on the top of the list.  Through all of its mediums of family entertainment including its theme parks, consumer products, and interactive online sites. The Walt Disney Company continues to outshine its’ competitors when it comes to customer service and staying up to date, producing the highest quality consumer experiences.

In 2012, Walt Disney World released their “My Disney Experience” website and mobile app.  This innovative and efficient new addition to the Walt Disney Company has since received countless praises.  The website and app enable families planning and enjoying their vacations to view current attractions, character greeting times and locations, restaurant menus and reservations, ride wait times, and more.  The GPS enabled app also allows users to navigate Walt Disney World efficiently and select or modify their “fast pass” experience.

Along with the website and phone app, the Walt Disney Company has released Magic Bands for each customer visiting the Walt Disney World Parks.  These GPS enabled, waterproof, colorful, all-inclusive wristbands serve as your hotel room key, admission to Disney theme parks and water parks, fast pass entrance, Disney photo pass, and credit card connection at dining and merchandise locations.

These new releases relating to a Walt Disney World vacation experience, are all ways in which the company is connecting more with customers and serving their needs directly.  Disney saw families frustrated with keeping track of all kinds of tickets and passes, long wait lines, and planning their trips.  They innovatively came up with solutions, in keeping with their core competency, that serve their customers even more completely.

These digital additions to the 91 year old company are vitally important to its’ continued success in an increasingly digital world.  The Walt Disney Company is staying on top of its marketing engagements by finding avenues, such as “My Disney Experience” to interact with consumers and let them be in charge of their own experiences.  This form of mass customization is similarly imperative to its continued marketing strategy.

In what ways do you think that The Walt Disney Company might increase its digital focus even more entirely to engage in its’ youngest generation of consumers?

Disney Follows Digital Movie Trends

The Walt Disney Company recently released a new way for consumers to purchase Disney movies in the spring of 2014.  Disney Movies Anywhere is a free service that users connect with their iTunes accounts to purchase and view Disney movies on their TVs, computers, or mobile devices anytime.  This opportunity to build up a digital movie collection as opposed to buying and storing traditional video tapes or DVDs, is the newest way in which Disney fans, can connect with their favorite movies.


Bob Iger, Disney’s current chief executive is on Apple’s board, which enabled both powerhouse companies to connect in this way to develop Disney Movies Anywhere.  This additional consumer experience option, is certainly an effort to increase movie sales as well as stay current in this increasingly digital age. records that “selling digital movies is three times more profitable for studios than renting one.”  Disney, Pixar, and Marvel films including The Incredibles and Frozen are available on Disney Movies Anywhere.

Accompanied by Disney Movies Anywhere is the Disney Digital Copy.  Disney Digital Copy enables consumers who have purchased Disney Movies in DVD or Blue-Ray format to also enjoy a digital version of their movie.  Digital DVD Copy connects to consumers’ online movie collections on Disney Movies Anywhere through their iTunes account.


These two very modern developments in The Walt Disney Company, have enabled this 91 year old company to continue to be prosperous in their core competency.  While remaining true to their origins in the family entertainment industry, the Disney Company has proven it can also change with the modern trends.  This is extremely important in this time of such a significant change to the digital marketing realm.  As David Meerman Scott outlines in his book, if companies do not have their eyes open to the changes in marketing and public relations around them, they are losing customers quickly.

With its continued developments on the digital side of things, The Walt Disney Company appears to maintain its unstoppable position in today’s society.

Disney Triumphs Over All Social Media Platforms

The Walt Disney Company is ranked number 2 on today’s global social media chart according to Starscore.  The powerful company has fans all over the globe who love to share their adoration for Disney online!

disney fb

The Walt Disney Company has:

  • 7,210,044,895 views on YouTube
  • 188,197,664 fans on Facebook
  • 23,245,945 followers on Twitter
  • 3,210,485 fans on Instagram
  • 3,237,995 fans on Sina Weibo
  • 1,734,083 fans on Google+
  • 90,038 fans on Renren
  • 173,861 fans on Mixi
  • 153,068 fans on VK
  • 481,605 fans on Tencent Weibo

disney twitter

On Starscore’s brand chart, The Global Walt Disney Company ranks as Number 1 above Nescafe and Movieclips Trailers.  These startling statistics prove that The Walt Disney Company must really be doing something right in terms of social media platforms.

So what is Disney doing in the digital world that attracts such overwhelming amounts of followers on the web?

  • On Twitter and Facebook, Disney claims to be committed to 2 main principles which are: “reach families and Disney enthusiasts and share content that our guests are compelled to talk about and share.” (Digiday)
  • “Disney Interactive, social media outreach is all about connecting with Disney enthusiasts in an entertaining way.” (Digiday)

In short, The Walt Disney Company is content marketing to its target audiences by engaging them in social media outlets in which they enjoy participating.  By sharing the latest developments in the Disney Company, at specific times and through social media platforms, Disney productively occupies the online network.

Disney App takes on Open Waters

On September 7, 2013, The Walt Disney Company introduced the Disney Cruise Lines Personal Navigators iPhone App.  This digital application for iPhones has proven to be a terrific addition for Disney Cruise Line guests on each of its’ four fleets.  This app provides the entire itinerary of what is going on onboard for any given day at sea.  The app is free and can be used onboard through complementary DCL-Guest-Wi-Fi-Network.

d app

The Disney Cruise Lines Personal Navigator is typically the documentation physically dispersed to guests each day, outlining the events of the day including: movies playing, show times, dining options, drinks of the day, character appearances, etc.  In order to make the most of every day on board, families tend to always have a Personal Navigator in hand.

With the addition of the new Personal Navigators app, individuals can instead simply make sure they always have their cell phones on hand.  This digital transition is consistent with David Meerman Scott’s New Rules of Marketing and PR.  Scott emphasizes how important it is for businesses to adjust to the transformation in communication patterns to the digital market.  The Walt Disney Company is proving their modernity by making this change in their Disney Cruise Line communications policy.

d app 2

Furthermore, the digital Disney Cruise Lines App offers guests the option to highlight favorite activities offered and request reminders for such events.  This additional offering is another way in which The Walt Disney Company is working to improve its marketing strategy to transition with the increasingly digital age.

Today, both the concrete and digital versions of the Disney Cruise Lines Personal Navigators are available to guests. Do you think eventually only the digital edition will remain?  Or will Disney Cruise Lines continue to offer both the concrete and digital Personal Navigators for each generations of their guests’ convenience?