The cable network I chose is Disney Channel, which is attached to Disney company. The major products include cartoons, drama series, original films. For 20 years, much exceptional quality TV Series, cartoons, and original movies, specially produced after 2000, make it become one of the three most important teenagers channel. Therefore, Disney channel cultivates many young entertainers. Realistic settings male kids and teens think the story lines they watch is true in the real life.
Disney channel aims to 4-16 year-old kids, teenagers, and their families. Like the Nicoletta Gelli, vice-president of brand marketing for Disney Channels EMEA, says: “We want to create the modern face of Disney, keeping the traditional ‘good versus evil’ themes, and then expanding it to broaden their appeal. Hannah Montana has been a huge ratings hit for us, and has smashed records through its brand extensions. We now need to take this expertise and adopt it across our brands.” (2014) Disney Channel attracts approximately 96 million pay television household to look at their channel. We can’t help think about what strategy they are utilizing to attract so many people.
The brand strategy they are using is the culture brand strategy, which the transmission and marketing of culture is totally different with spreading the marketing culture. They are both based on culture, most general brands pay more attention to how to create the cultural connotation of the brand, but culture brand considers to excavate its own values of culture products and culture programs. Walt Disney says: “I hope we’ll never lose sight of one thing that it was all started by a mouse.” Thus, we could know that the mouse is the culture of brand Disney, the one they call “Mickey”. Disney has lots of other industries related to Disney, such as Disney parkland, videos, movies, games, and books. These industries would also attract audiences and visitors who will also be attracted to watch the Disney channel to increase its popularity.
Disney Channel commodifies a specific experience for its audients. Most of TV shows the network released are created by Disney company, they sometimes refuse shows or cartoons created by other companies. In the network, we could see they don’t have many traditional cartoon characters, like Mikey, Donald Duck, or Brutto, on the screen. All of the TV shows take place in a realistic setting with practical story lines and played by younger entertainers, this would make audiences, especially kids and teens, to feel the story lines they watch would happen to them in the real life, as though they are the main characters and the story lines are the standard life.
All the people, include the parents and the families, are familiar with the brand so that the brand loyalty and brand association bring automatic viewers to the network. Most viewers are the fans, or have the fascination with, the Disney cartoon characters.
Another phenomenon in the network is that the commercials are all about the Disney, and outside commercials are never aired on the Disney network. Banet-Weiser says: “network’s own brand advertisements celebrate [the network] and encourage kids (and their parents) to be loyal to the network.” (2007) The network is widely known by the Disney Channel Original Series, they play many original programs like That’s so Raven. The shows they played are all about Disney for keeping the profit and success of movies. The strategy to make kids believe them is a wonderful thing.
Not only TV, and movies, the network include games, video, blogs, music, and family as well. They would expand their products into people’s lives, into everywhere. One reason is keeping their profits, another one is they would like to make their products to be inherited from generation to generation.
In the initial period, Disney Channel was founded in 1983, which is characterized by short cartoon including Good Morning! Mickey, Donald Duck Presents, Contraption, Dumbo’s Circus, You and Me Kid, and Welcome to Pooh Corner, and a night TV show called The Adventure of Ozzie and Harriet. In 1998, Disney Channel completely changed a new appearance, abandoned the article “the”, and separated the network into three programme regions – Playhouse Disney that aims to preschoolers, Vault Disney that aims at Disney shows and movie, which is the most special programme, and Zoog Disney that aims at teenagers under 15-year-old.
From traditional cartoon characters to realistic settings with earth characters and relatable story lines, Disney channel not only keeps their profits but expands their images into adolescents’ hearts. As The Nickelodeon Brand: “The role of Nickelodeon as transforming media for children constitutes the crux of the channel’s stated mission, a mission that purports to challenge dominant ways of understanding kids as impressionable, passive television viewers and instead recognizes this audience as empowered, active citizens.” (2007)
Comparing Nickelodeon with Disney Channel, they are both producing programmes for kids and teens, and their goals are partly similar. The difference is that Disney Channel has culture background to keep its viewers, and can automatically attract viewers from people who are interested in Disney parkland, movies, and traditional cartoon characters.
Banet-Weiser, S. (2007). Kids rule!: Nickelodeon and consumer citizenship. Durham: Duke University Press.