Disney Turns to Branding Spots

The first brand campaign in recent memory from The Walt Disney Co. attempts to push its image as a wholesome and pervasive part of family life with three 90-second spots from Leo Burnett directed by Joe Pytka.

The spots, which break Feb. 25 during ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney, depict “mini movies” of how Disney plays a central part in family life, said Cheryl Berman, Burnett’s chief creative officer.

“It’s a reminder that we connect with you in many diverse ways,” said Michael Mendenhall, president of marketing and synergies for Disney Studios.

One of the spots shows a boy questioning his dad about a business trip. When the boy discovers his dad will be going alone, he surreptitiously puts his Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed toy in his father’s suitcase, bringing dad a quiet moment of joy on the road. In another, a husband helps recapture the magic of his marriage by imitating Donald Duck for his wife. The campaign is tagged, “Magic happens.”

The campaign is not intended to sell Disney’s films, videos or theme parks, Mendenhall said. Rather, it should “reinforce the essence and magic of our company.”

Billings for the campaign haven’t been determined.

Leo Burnett has worked for Disney since 1994. The agency handles advertising for Disney’s theme parks and cruise lines. The Burbank, Calif., company spent $97 million advertising those products through October of last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.