TV Upfronts

Exclusive: Disney Ads Boss Rita Ferro Gets Animated in Family Guy Upfront Clip

The video kicked off Disney's May 14 upfront event from the North Javits Center

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Disney’s ad sales chief has never been so animated about the company’s upfront offerings.

To kick off Disney’s May 14 upfront week event from the North Javits Center, Rita Ferro, the company’s head of global advertising, became the latest member of the Griffin family.

The event’s video intro, which puts Ferro in the world of Family Guy, was produced by the team behind the show, with creator and star Seth MacFarlane voicing Peter and Brian, while Richard Appel, one of the executive producers, recorded and directed Ferro.

In the clip, which wasn’t immediately available online, Brian calls Peter into the TV show’s iconic living room, with Peter apologizing for being late. He was in the bathroom “streaming.”

“Hey, what do you expect?” Peter adds. “It’s Family Guy.”

Ferro then joins the pair to discuss a “more acceptable kind of streaming content,” with the ad sales chief introducing Disney’s global streaming offerings.

“I’m talking iconic characters, beloved franchises, culture-piercing originals, blockbuster films, live sports,” Ferro says, adding, “Disney has it all, including your favorite adult animation shows like Family Guy.”

“I think you mean The Simpsons,” Peter retorts.

“It’s Bob’s Burgers, but who’s counting?” Ferro says.


Ferro hangs with Peter and Brian at upfront.Disney

Peter notes that Disney has “complete market dominance” but adds, “And yet you still choose to have your headquarters at Burbank.”

“Office space is cheaper there. And that allows us to pass those savings right along to our brand partners—hold for applause,” Ferro says, as all the characters freeze and wait for the real-life audience to clap.

Ferro then notes she has to make it to the Javits Center, and Peter introduces her, allowing the ad sales chief to walk onstage in the same outfit she wears in the clip.


Logo showcasing Ferro in Family Guy’s font.Tommy Lumley

In addition to creating a full circle moment with Ferro’s Family Guy outfit making it to the stage, the video intro also promotes Disney’s adult animated content from Hulu, which recently was fully integrated into Disney+ for bundle subscribers.

Talking with ADWEEK ahead of the presentation, Ferro noted that Disney+’s Hulu merger would be one of the priorities at the upfront pitch, with the product delivering even better results than at launch.

“They’re spending more time with the content and watching more hours of content,” Ferro said. “That will allow us to have more robust opportunities from an advertiser and a brand perspective.”

We’ll note that all that engagement was already happening before Ferro joined Family Guy. Now, all bets are off.

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