Thursday, September 30, 2010

Michelle Obama Gets Marketing Magic & Massive Fan Base As Disney Joins Let's Move! Campaign

First Lady's new PSA with teen TV stars, after the jump...
The Walt Disney Company today announced "The Magic of Healthy Living Campaign," a jumbo new partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama for Let's Move!. Over the next year, the multi-media promotion, featuring Mrs. Obama and Disney kid superstars messaging healthy eating and fitness on TV, online, and at theme parks, will reach hundreds of millions of Mouse House fans, according to Disney corporate brass. The company has also made a $1 million donation to sponsor ten gardening and playground projects for underserved communities across the US. (Above, the First Lady with Nick Jonas and Brenda Song)

“We’re excited to be teaming up with Disney, and we know we’ll make a difference,” Let’s Move! Executive Director Robin Schepper said Wednesday on a conference call with reporters.

Eight new public service announcements featuring Mrs. Obama with various combos of Disney child stars have been created. Nick Jonas, Brenda Song, Jason Dolley, Alyson Stoner, Brandon Mychal Smith, Tiffany Thornton, Jennifer Stone, and Daniel Curtis Lee, all of whom are on Disney's highest rated kid TV shows--in which the prevalence of obesity is statistically zero--have joined Mrs. Obama to make healthy food and fitness seem fun. Two new websites--one for kids, and one for parents--complete the core of the partnership. Here's the first PSA, shot at a faux White House:



Schepper, now five weeks into her job as head honcho for Let's Move!, noted that while it would be swell if kids and their families visited the official Let's Move! website on a regular basis, the new pairing is important because it spreads the First Lady's message wide. Kids are “more likely to be watching Disney shows on TV,” Schepper said. The Let's Move! logo is already on Disney's new websites.

Schepper also included one of Mrs. Obama's favorite messages about combating childhood obesity in her chat about the new partnership.

“We can’t just rely on the government to solve this problem,” Schepper said.

Disney's PSAs will be seen in about 99 million households, and run on the Disney Channel, Disney XD, ABC Kids and on ABC family-friendly programming, as well as on the Ad Council's network of 1,700 stations.

Disney brass claim more than 30 million monthly unique visitors to their various websites, and the two new Magic of Healthy Living destinations are focused on food and fitness, of course. For kids: Disney.com/healthyliving, while Family.com/healthyliving is for parents. (Above: Nick Jonas is featured in this screenshot for the kids' website)

KaBOOM, marketing value & Mrs. Obama

As for the gardening/playground project: Disney's $1 million will go to KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization whose mission is to have a play space within walking distance of every child in America. The Disney cash will help build play spaces and gardens in 10 "underserved" communities across America. $1 million is a huge donation...unless your company is The Walt Disney Company. With annual earnings in the multi-billions, $1 million is about one second's worth of revenue. Nice symbolic gesture, but Disney could do a bit more for America's "underserved" communities, especially since they're getting Brand Obama for free. Mrs. Obama has been credited with boosting the sales of everything she goes near, from clothing to gardening tools, and certainly Disney will gain plenty of invaluable cache from having the lovely face of the First Lady associated with its products. Case study: Even a small diner in Iowa that's been graced with the Obama nod of approval can attest to the sales-boosting phenomenon. Baby Boomers Cafe went from selling 100 cookies a week to 40,000, after America discovered that the Obama family are fans. UPDATE: Another case in point: A recent study found that Mrs. Obama's clothing choices can substantially boost the stock value of the company that made the item of clothing....

Disney also sells an astonishing array of Disney branded foods, and the company's promotional materials for the new partnership highlight these, focusing on the healthier offerings. "Disney has helped kids and families consume over 1.3 billion servings of Disney-branded fruits and vegetables since 2007 as well as 50 million servings of Disney branded dairy in the past year alone," the company literature advises. Can Magic of Healthy Living foods, with the Let's Move! logo and even Mrs. Obama's photo, be far behind?

*Photos & video courtesy of the Walt Disney Co.