The ‘Hannah Montana’ franchise in India is set to hog a significant part of Walt Disney’s attention. The property’s third season is set to hit the screen in April 2009, while the Hannah Montana movie’s theatrical release is planned for May 10, 2009 in India. Incidentally, this is Walt Disney’s second theatrical release – the first being ‘High School Musical 3’. Antoine Villeneuve, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Walt Disney Television International (India), said that the stage was set for ‘Hannah Montana’ to take off.
“We have made the brand present across platforms. It is on TV already, and that is the most important part. There are on-ground initiatives done around ‘Hannah Montana’, and then there is the digital presence of the brand as well. The most important aspect of any brand has to be that it resonates with the audience, and we have focussed on ensuring that the necessary steps are taken for ‘Hannah Montana’ to be relevant to audiences in India,” explained Villeneuve.
From the basic elements such as dubbing to eight-city on-ground events and trips to the US, Disney has undertaken various steps to make ‘Hannah Montana’ click with the channel’s target audiences. ‘Hannah Montana’ is also important for the channel for the sheer audience category that it puts emphasis on. In the third edition of Disney KidSense research, a key finding was that of the growing ‘tween’ category in India, and the independent set of needs that the target audience has.
Villeneuve elaborated, “The ‘tween’ age is that of a transition into being a teenager and then an adult, and at Disney Channel, we encourage the emotions of the kids in that age. They are ambitious and a brand like ‘Hannah Montana’ fosters these emotions. Hannah has always been fashion conscious, and in the third season, she is even more conscious about her appearance, her double-life clicks with this target and she is symbolic of what kids at this age are experiencing themselves.”
The Hannah franchise was made available on ground through various events that included a 3D concert. Disney focussed on the touch and feel of the brand to set the stage for the launch of the third season and the movie’s premier.