Disney readies Junior brand launch

The Walt Disney Company has launched multi-platform pre-school brand Disney Junior.

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This replaces its Playhouse Disney, extending the brand to appeal to 2-7-year-olds.

The channel, available in the UK from 7 May, will broadcast daily on linear TV and across its affiliate VOD platforms including Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk TV.

The company will run a major integrated campaign across TV, online and print to back the launch. This will focus on a new website and a Disney Junior-branded YouTube channel. Visitors to the site can watch teaser video clips of the new shows.

Disney has set up a Facebook page for parents. It will also run display ads across parenting sites and is looking to strike deals with sites which could include Mumsnet.

The website went live today to create buzz in the run-up to the channel launch. It will be monetised via sponsorship opportunities in the parenting section, and the Disney Junior content will also be available on iTunes.

Disney has its own social network, Club Penguin, but is planning to harness Facebook for the new brand, to build discussions with mums.

Boel Ferguson, General Manager for Disney Channels UK & Ireland, said Facebook isn’t as suitable a platform for its other brands, which are aimed at older children, but the Disney Junior channel lets it expand its presence on the social network. “The Facebook page for Disney Junior is for adults because we want to build a two-way discussion with mums. It enables us to use the platform more than for the other tween brands.”

Nicole Morse, Disney Channels executive marketing director for UK & Ireland, said social media will play a large role in the channel’s marketing plans for the year. “Social media is now underpinning all our marketing activity because it allows us to engage the brand with mums in particular,” she said.

The Disney Junior channel launch will conincide with the premiere of show Jake and the Never Land Pirate. Other shows to feature later on the channel include Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jungle Junction, Handy Manny and Special Agent Oso.

Disney Channels UK has also launched a tender process for British independent production companies to produce multi-platform content for brands including the Disney Channel and Disney XD.

This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk

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