Disney Mobile Makes Parental Appeal

NEW YORK The phones are designed for kids, but the ads for Disney Mobile’s new service are aimed at the parents who will foot the bills.

Disney is rolling out an inaugural TV campaign this week touting security features such as the Family Locator, which lets parents use their PC or phone to track their kids’ movements. The work uses humor to relay the security message.

In one spot, a boy announces, “Mom, Dad—I just want to give you a heads up,” and then lays out his itinerary of planned activities, including climbing a tree in a friend’s yard, playing softball and loitering in a convenience store. He then hands out a printed version. A voiceover points out that in real life, this doesn’t usually happen.

In another ad, an older brother takes time from mowing the lawn to boast about his new cell phone. He is interrupted mid-sentence when his younger sister’s phone starts to ring. A voiceover then touts a call-control feature that lets parents decide when phones can be used.

The campaign, via BuderEngel and Friends in San Francisco, is aimed at affluent families who can spend a minimum of $60 a month for service and between $60-110 for phones for their 8- to 14-year-old kids. According to a Harris Interactive poll last year, 12 percent of 8- to 12-year-olds have phones, and 49 percent of 13- to 15-year-olds do as well.

Spending on the campaign was not disclosed, but the account was valued at $50 million when BuderEngel won it in March, according to the agency.