Burnett Begins ’05 With Mickey, Donald, et al.

LOS ANGELES Walt Disney will launch a global ad campaign this week touting its theme parks and tying in to the 50th anniversary of the first one, Disneyland, which opened in Anaheim, Calif., in 1955.

The campaign, which will include print, Internet and other elements, is expected to run for much of 2005. Ad spending for the effort was not revealed. Disney spent $163 million on media in the U.S. for its resorts and theme parks in 2003, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Lead agency is Leo Burnett in Chicago.

The first TV spots will launch New Year’s Day during the Tournament of Roses Parade, which features Mickey Mouse as the Grand Marshall, running on ABC, CBS and NBC. Commercials will star computer-generated versions of Donald Duck, Dumbo, Aladdin’s Genie and other Disney characters. A voiceover by actor Kelsey Grammer intones, “It’s our biggest celebration in 50 years. Come join us for this once-in-a-lifetime event at Disney parks around the world.”

—Brandweek staff report