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social Media


Inset:The Winnie the Pooh Storytelling Academy Facebook landing page. Right: Jen Tedstone is one of a team of four people at Disney’s EMEA head office who is directly involved in the company’s social media activity.


There is no doubt about it - social media now influences and shapes our personal and business lives. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the interactive elements of its dedicated websites now provide The Walt Disney Company with invaluable direct real-time dialogue with fans, reinforcing the relationships consumers have with its franchises.


Social Activities W


ant to create some fun games at home? At a loss of how to pep up your child’s lunchbox? Want to


ask Kermit a personal question? Keen to see your favourite Avengers character painted on a wall in London? Want a snuggletime Sunday evening with Winnie the Pooh and your kids? All these and so much more were catered for by Disney’s social media activities last year. “Social media is amazing in the way that it enables personal connections to be made and long-term relationships to be forged with consumers,” sums up Jen Tedstone, head of social media of The Walt Disney Company EMEA. The main focus of much of Disney’s social media activity is centred on building long term relationships with key Disney audiences. For mums this means increasing their connection with the Disney brand, helping them “add a bit of magic into everyday, family life,” explains Jen. This is being achieved in a number of ways,


through Facebook portals like Disney Junior (which has 77,000 fans) and Disney for Mums (which has 63,000 fans). “These allow us to ‘talk’ to mum as an


individual and help to make her busy life easier, all with some connection to our franchises. This may be through giving ideas


for Disney-themed lunchboxes or how to create a Disney Fairies treasure hunt around the home,” says Jen. “The Disney for Mums Facebook page is something of an ‘entertainment mission control’ for mums, providing anything from Disney offers to themed recipes and family activities to do at home with the little ones”.


Top: Jen Tedstone and the Winnie the Pooh Facebook homepage. Above right: Disney Fairies helped mums to amuse their own little ‘fairies’ with a treasure hunt idea. Left: Avengers Assemble Live saw artist Alex Young (from Addict) create a fantastic public mural, the content of which was decided by public votes via Twitter. Left: Celebrities and members of the public all flocked to ask Kermit personal questions via Twitter.


As Jen points out, “while activities such as


these use digital technology, they very much reinforce traditional family values which are at the core of The Walt Disney Company.” However, it is not just mums that are


A SPECIAL MAX PUBLISHING 143 disney PUBLICATION 2013 © Disney/Pixar TM & © 2013 MARVEL & Subs. © Disney. Based on the “Winnie the Pooh works by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard.


engaging in Disney’s social media activities. Celebrity Stephen Fry and TOWIE star Joey Essex were among those who latched onto


the Ask Kermit campaign that ran on Twitter in the run up to the release of The Muppets


movie last year. This innovative initiative (which proved so popular that it was trending on Twitter) gave fans the chance to put Kermit on the spot by firing their burning questions at him and getting a personal response. Questions ranged


from ‘What was it like working with


Michael Caine?’ to ‘Is it hard to type with froggy, webbed fingers?’! Another spate of ingenious activity


initiated to fanfare the premiere of a film was the Marvel Avengers Assemble Live stunt. By voting via Twitter consumers had the power to decide which Avengers Assemble characters graffiti artist Alex Young (from Addict) would bring to life illustratively on a giant wall in London’s Old Street. Taking place over a four day period last April this ‘art in the making’ was streamed live on Marvel’s and Addict’s


websites as well as posted on YouTube. As Jen says: “The ways in which people are


communicating and engaging with the world is changing and Disney is ensuring it is very much part of all this.”


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