Archive for David Meerman Scott

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?

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 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.

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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?

Disney Interactive Intends to Intimidate

David Meerman Scott’s New Rules of Marketing and PR includes, “People want participation, not propaganda” (Scott, 46).  This is referring to the shift from interruptive, passive marketing to fresh and interactive marketing of today’s digital market.  The Walt Disney Company abides by this rule, and has developed an entire department to do exactly that.  With the additional division, the organization intends to intimidate competitors with its online interactive presence.

The Disney Interactive branch of The Walt Disney Company focuses on creating shared content for all of its’ digital media platforms.

disney interactive

“Disney Interactive is one of the world’s largest creators of high-quality interactive entertainment across all current and emerging digital media platforms. Products and content released and operated by Disney Interactive include blockbuster mobile and console games, online virtual worlds, and No. 1-ranked web destinations and the Moms and Family network of websites.” (

An example of this interactive online experience is the online magazine, Babble.  ( ) This website allows young parents to connect with others and engage in blogging about similar child-raising experiences.  It is an interactive outlet that caters directly to the young parents of today.


Scott’s rule about customer participation proves to be extremely applicable to Disney, in the sense that they have tried to engage in the digital market in order to stay current and accessible in a changing world.  Unfortunately, this rule does not seem to be growing and providing as much as one would expect for The Walt Disney Company.  While Disney Interactive is still a very small sector of The Walt Disney Company, the gaming and web division has been a continued drain to the overall organization. (

Do you think that Disney Interactive is a necessary addition to The Walt Disney Company? Or is there a better outlet for the organization to connect with the online market and interact with its consumers?

Affirmative Advertising in a Digital Age

The Walt Disney Company spent 1.93 billion dollars in 2013 on advertising alone.  While this number seems extraordinarily high in an increasingly digital age, advertising was approximately 31% of the total of 6.14 billion dollars net income for the company in 2013.  The company’s total advertising spending includes measured-media and unmeasured spending.  Measured media consists of magazines, newspapers, broadcast networks, radio, outdoor, and internet advertising.  Unmeasured spending estimates direct promotion through internet paid search, social media, etc.

graph 1

In David Meerman Scott’s New Rules of Marketing and PR, Scott is very clear about the shift from sales and interruption advertising to content rich marketing in the increasingly digital market. In particular he writes, “Marketers must shirt their thinking from mainstream marketing to the masses to a strategy of reaching vast numbers of undeserved audiences via the web” (Scott, 46).  When looking at Disney’s total spending on advertising, it does not look like they are following the new rules of marketing.  Since 2009, the advertising spending has even gone up, and largely remains the same to today. records the Walt Disney Company as among, “The 12 Companies that Spend the Most on Advertising”.  This website records Disney’s total advertising spending in 2013 as 1.93 billion dollars and breaks it down as such:

TV: $273 million

–          Magazines: $60 million

–          Newspapers: $92 million

–          Internet: $37 million

–          Other: $1.46 billion

graph 2

The Walt Disney Company continues to be a power house in the family entertainment industry today.  Its net income has continuous increased since 2009 through 2013.  Do you think that with its continued spending on advertising in our increasingly digital market, the company will suffer, or end up changing its’ advertising spending habits?


Content Marketing with The Mouse

The Walt Disney Company relies on rich content marketing to drive its total revenue.  Throughout each of the five different segments of this powerful organization, the overall marketing strategy relies on providing consumers abundant content right when they are looking for it.  The five segments of the Walt Disney Company include Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products, and Interactive Media.

In The New Rules of Marketing and PR, David Meerman Scott explains that due to the recent change in communication platforms to a digital medium, there is a new set of guidelines for marketers to follow in order to be successful.  This significant transition has been extremely influential in the marketing realm and has increased the importance of providing potential customers with quality content.  In the new rules of marketing and PR, Scott writes, “Instead of causing one way interruption, marketing is about delivering content at just the right moment your audience needs it” (Scott, 36).  Disney’s advertising has followed the new rules and currently focuses on providing content over consumer interruption.

Bob Iger, the company’s current CEO has specifically made it a priority to revert back to the core competency of creating entertainment for children and families through all five of their corporate divisions.  The Walt Disney Company’s dedication to content marketing can be seen with the release of any of their new movies.  When a new movie is released, the Walt Disney Company benefits from box office sales, but also continues to develop the characters and related commodities extending the value of its content.  For example when Disney’s Frozen was released, there were character action figures, children’s bedding, clothing, a sing-a-long version of the movie, DVD and blue ray releases, mobile phone apps, video games, and even announcement of the possibilities of a Broadway show, Frozen on Ice Performances, and even a Frozen ride at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Disney's Frozen


By extending the content of one film throughout all of the Disney networks, the company is able to maximize its total value.  This example of content marketing is representative of Scott’s new rules of marketing and PR, and provides a model marketing strategy for overall success.


Hello and welcome to my blog dedicated to taking a look at the Walt Disney Company and its’ use of digital marketing in an increasingly digital age of communication.  This case study will help readers to understand how this specific company is applying or disusing concepts of digital marketing outlined by David Meerman Scott in his book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR.  Please comment on posts and engage in this blogging experience with me!

Thanks for reading!

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