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Disney Studios Marketing Chief Sent Packing

Disney Studios marketing has been maligned by fans and insiders alike. Many place poor box office results for a number of films at its feet. This goes back more than a decade to films like Chicken Little and Meet The Robinsons. Disney’s animated films in particular were notoriously poorly marketed. When Rich Ross took over the studios, one of his first moves was to start a search for a new person to lead marketing.

That person was MT Carney. Ms. Carney had no movie experience, but a background in big advertising agencies and she promised to bring and outsiders perspective to a big problem. The only problem was, that her decisions weren’t averaging any better than the previous teams.

That’s the crux behind today’s story in the NY Times where it’s implied that Disney and Ms. Carney are soon to part ways. Very soon if you believe Nikki Finke.

I realize that Disney fans are just a small portion of the overall audience Disney hopes to attract to its movies. But I wish they’d spend more effort reaching out to fans online. We’re certainly capable of helping propel buzz online enabling movies to reach a larger audience. They count on us when it comes to DVDs, but ignore us for the first run films.

I hope Rich Ross is able to find someone to lead Disney Studios marketing. There are a lot of big movies in the pipeline that Disney is counting on to become the next set of franchises. You can’t screw up another potential franchise like Disney did with Sorcerer’s Apprentice (It’s The Coolest Job Ever was her less than inspired tagline).

6 thoughts on “Disney Studios Marketing Chief Sent Packing”

  1. As a “mom blogger”, I think they do a good job reaching out to us. I write about events and activities in my local area & I’ve had the opportunity to see screenings & get promotional materials to share.

    Where I think they miss the boat is cross-promotion with the park. We were at WDW the day Rapunzel became official. Not a single bit of Princess merchandise with her on it to go with the roll-out and hardly anything with Rapunzel. We had given our 6 year old a $50 gift card for souvenirs and she brought $20 of it home to save until she could find a Rapunzel plush. My brother was there the day Tangled came out on DVD & said there was nothing special done. We were there when Beauty & the Beast came out on BluRay & they did give away a free copy at the Beauty & the Beast show at Hollywood Studios that day. But that was it. They didn’t even have special DVD displays in the shops.

    I think they need to do more promoting of the movies in the parks – before release, on release day, and on DVD releases.

  2. I do not think they can blame all of this on poor marketing. I think they need to make better movies. Sorcerer’s Apprentice was not a particularly good movie. Granted the tagline was awful but I do not see that as the issue. Marketing the new John Carter will be difficult. Terrible title and it looks like a clone of Prince of Persia. This could use a better marketing job! I am assuming since the “Mars nedds Moms” diabolical they do not want to use “Mars” in the title.

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  5. I’m from Australia and I think the marketing division here have absolutely no clue.

    – They created a line of DVD’s and BluRays called ‘PIXAR classics’, which I was told was personally suggested by John Lasseter (yeah right), so we missed out on all the lush cover artwork from the US with terrible budget branding. It’s just an exercise in doubledipping with releases.

    – They rarely make any announcement’s about new titles on the website or releases Facebook. You can’t even write on their Facebook page to ask questions as they have turned off the option, that’s some consumer engagement right there.

    – There is zero park integration at all, the Australian site just has links to other sites and they never talk about it at the Facebook page.

    Australia aside, I think it’s a shame how little some movies are represented in the parks, like forgotten soldiers. Such a rich history but yet not leveraged enough. It’s taken over 20 years after ‘The Little Mermaid’ for them to have their first ride?

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