The touch-and-feel factor is important when it comes to children, a fact that Indian kids' channels are well aware of. Disney India took this knowledge to the next level when it kicked off its Asia-Pac musical event, 'Disney Magic', in India. Even as the event, in a manner of speaking, was unique, it was the marketing of this event that Disney banked on to ensure that 'Disney Magic' was utilised to the fullest for establishing Brand Disney further in India.
"A brand is never too settled, especially in a country like India, where there are enough and more players in just about every genre. You have to sustain a certain visibility level – else out of sight turns into out of mind. One needs to constantly give the viewers reasons to come to a channel, and that is the base for Disney initiatives," explained Tushar Shah, Director-Marketing, Walt Disney TV International, speaking on the rationale behind such an event.
In the case of 'Disney Magic', however, the channel had gone all out to make national level noise around the event. "Disney Magic is a special property and the most massive on-ground effort ever to come from Disney in India. For Disney, the core strength lies in the characters we have. In India, even though Disney characters are known in the country for as long as one can remember, the interaction that Indian kids have had with them is limited. 'Disney Magic' gave us the perfect opportunity to do something about that," said Shah.
The event originated from Disney's international events division and has been planned as a musical, which will be taken across Asia, beginning with India. Six markets – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad – were covered in a matter of three weeks. The event was formatted as four shows of 30 minutes each in one city, set up in the backdrop of a mall. The reason was that since it wasn't a ticketed show, a backdrop attracted the invited and passers-by. The design and format was identical across each city.
"Not just the design, but every other detail about the event – the ushers, the carpets, standard of stage and seating areas – we had to ensure that the quality was uniform. This was the first time that a whole gang of Disney characters were brought down to India and would really be interacting with the Indian children. We spent four months preparing for the event to be exact on every aspect," said Shah.
He explained that the event in itself played a crucial role in building the Disney connect with its TG, but at the same time, it presented a unique marketing opportunity that would further play a role in growing the Disney brand in India. "The baseline we were working on was 'Spread the Magic of Disney' and the objective was not just to have any on-ground initiative, but an event that would all brand experience to our TG and delight them, assuring a positive affinity for a long term," explained Shah.
A 360-degree marketing plan was put in place to achieve the target – from conventional media like television, print, outdoor and online, student contact programmes, PR activities and passes to be won. "The positioning of all communication was 'The biggest stars have come', and we worked towards driving viewership to the channel by speaking about the passes that could be won for the event," said Shah.
"On the event itself, all our sponsors also had their own individual stalls and that ensured mileage for our partners as well. We also had something for the underprivileged children with a partnership with 'Make-a-wish Foundation'. This was more a result of the Disney Worldwide Outreach endeavour," said Shah.
The result? "With over 100,000 people turning up, and those who couldn't catch it live, seeing it on various channels in news coverage, I would say very successful," replied Shah.