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 The “are you above 13” rule is no longer valid.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!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

SuperNova South Recap

I wanted to take this blog post to talk about a digital marketing conference I attended in Atlanta called SuperNova South. We attended SuperNova South for the student track portion and we had the ability to hear from the best of the best in the digital marketing world. I learned so many valuable pieces of advice about interviews, brand marketing, agency jobs, and life in general. The only complaint I have from the entire day is that lunch was barbeque sandwiches and I looked like a four year old child eating it in front of many people I look up to.
Here are some of my key takeaways:

Career Advice:
·      Leave your job better than you found it
·      Output and measureable objectives are extremely important
·      Be transparent

Interview Advice
·      Ask about the culture of where you aer going to be
·      Tell YOUR story. Market yourself.
·      Have hussle
·      Be curious
·      Break through the clutter and get your potential employer’s attention

Life in General
·      Relationships are everything
·      Have an opinion
·      Any chance you get, write.
·      People will pay money for a rare creature. Don’t be a commodity.

Overall, it was an extremely valuable day. We had the opportunity to network with some key individuals in the industry. I don’t think I would ever be presented with the opportunity to interact and network with such brilliant and driven individuals.  

We were also invited to a mentors lunch, where we got food and sat at a table with two mentors. I enjoyed getting to speak with the two women at my table who have accomplished such great things. A valuable takeaway from my lunch table was that it doesn’t end with getting a job. Once you get a job, continue to extend your network. Attend networking events in whatever city you end up with. Build upon what you have and where you are.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

ABC Family or Freeform?

When you think of ABC Family, what comes to mind? For me, I think of the iconic tween years that I spent in front of my TV, hooked on shows that taught me way too much about life. 7th Heaven, Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, That 70’s Show, and so many more shows that take me right back to such great memories. Lorelai and Rory Gilmore brought me endless giggles and quite possibly helped out my sense of humor. The Camden family taught me about how family, however crazy, is a blessing. That 70’s show taught me what not to wear. Friday Night Lights made me cherish the high school days and wish that I knew someone as wise as Tami Taylor. Who could forget about 25 days of Christmas that allow us to relive our favorite Christmas movies? And the month of October where the Halloweentown movies are played on repeat just about every night. Thanks for the memories ABC Family.

A fun fact about ABC Family is that it is owned by Disney Channel and is often seen by producers as the “next step” for viewers of Disney Channel. Although, I am not sure how well this next step works out for their viewers, because I still secretly watch Disney Channel shows. No shame.

Disney announced a few weeks ago that they would be changing the name of ABC Family to Freeform as it undergoes a “radical rebranding as it stops chasing millennials and pushes toward even younger viewers it calls ‘becomers’”. This generation of becomers is described by Disney Channel’s president as “a life stage from your first kiss to your first kid” aka “people roughly 14 to 34”. The name change will take effect starting in January. Freeform “reflects the fluid way that teenagers and young adults consume media”. Check out this video and see for yourself. 

Here is a glimpse into the social media reaction 

I can't help but be a little bit critical of the name change. ABC Family is iconic and it has some incredible shows attached to its name. It has been ABC Family for so long. When I hear the name ABC Family it brings back feelings of nostalgia and some great memories. However, from a marketing standpoint, it could be a smart move. What it really boils down to is advertising spending and reach. Marketers and advertisers are struggling to figure out how to respond to this shift from live television watching to online TV and other mediums, which the millennials and younger generations have grown to be fond of. We are no longer subjected to that dreaded 5 minute commercial break in between shows because we can have a 30 second commercial break by watching it on Hulu the next day. It proves an interesting challenge for marketers and the next few years will be telling as new mediums for watching television arise.