Tuesday, November 10, 2015

And You're Watching Disney Channel

How many of you remember the era of Disney Channel greats? I’m talking Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire, Even Stevens, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, That’s So Raven, The Proud Family. And that’s just to name a few. My curiosity lately has come from how these shows are marketed to their target demographic.  I watched Disney Channel shows starting at the age of 7 until 14 (but if I’m honest, I still occasionally turn on Disney channel). So how does Disney reach the elementary age, the middle school age, and potentially the high school age? These segments are increasingly present on social media. The “are you above 13” rule is no longer valid. So what is Disney’s strategy?

When I took a closer look at their social media accounts I found that they are very strategic in their marketing. On Twitter they perfectly address their wide ranging target audience by drawing them into conversation with the characters of the show. The characters will Tweet about episodes, which Disney Channel Twitter retweets. But the social media marketers of Disney Channel will also post pictures and videos of the actors doing things outside of their shows, such as being on a Disney cruise. They post with frequency, at least once a day to keep followers engaged, updated, and excited.
Instagram is used similarly as a way for Disney channel to spotlight their actors outside of their shows, or behind the scenes, similar to Twitter. Followers feel privileged when they get to see what the actors are doing behind the scenes.

There is a new importance placed on social media in this time where a solid majority of the younger demographic have social media accounts. It provides Disney with a key opportunity to market their shows and engage their viewers. It also provides them with a certain aspect of brand loyalty by gaining followers at a young age and keeping those followers through adolescence. I can imagine it is hard to determine a marketing strategy for a show with such a young target segment. Disney has to ensure that their content is clean, comments are clean, and that parents remain content. So far, I think Disney Channel is doing a great job!

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