Disney’s Branded Entertainment Scam: Pushing its Mobile Phone Biz Via a Program-Length Commercial

This is a good example of why a PBS should avoid even the taint of commercialism. Public broadcasting needs to be a safe haven from the kind of show/ad-biz industry mishegas we are increasingly witnessing in the interactive marketing era. Take the announcement via the crazy folks at Burbank. Bob Iger must be channeling Michael Eisner in the bad taste department. But it’s also a great example of why there needs to be beefed up federal safeguards protecting kids from targeted digital marketing. Read on:

“Disney to Debut ‘Storymercial

Disney plans to launch a half-hour TV program based entirely on its branded mobile service, in order to let parents know about the variety of features the service offers, on ABC Family sometime before November.

The show, or “storymercial,” will incorporate viewer-suggested storylines about the phone service, highlighting the features that could help families keep track of their minutes – and keep track of each other, writes Brandweek. Footage from the show will also end up in other media such as online, on DVDs and on television commercials.

The long form – or infomercial – is coming back into vogue thanks to a couple of factors such as the rise of video sites such as YouTube and the availability of inexpensive bandwidth (which makes it possible to reuse and recycle content). And because retailers are facing mounting pressure to “start selling from day one,” long form advertising is necessary to build online and offline buzz for complex products such as the Disney Mobile service, before they hit the shelves, says Dave Merton, vp for Meteor and consultant to manufacturers.

However, long form can be disastrous if it is simply a 30-second spot stretched to last a longer time. Rather, it must be exclusive, brand correct content that makes for great watching, says Doug Garnett, president of Atomic Direct and creator of the successful Drill Doctor long form campaign.”

[Source: www.mediabuyerplanner.com] The story broke, we understand, in Brand Week. It is online.

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

Leave a Reply