When Disney launched its Digital Network, its goal was to give its audience over 6,000 pieces of content a month. It was going to do what Disney does best, tell stories. The Digital Network would allow stories to be told through its digital platforms. Among those stories it would tell and launch would be an updated version of Club Mickey Mouse. Introducing the 60-year-old franchise to a whole new generation of fans and reimagine the Mickey Mouse Club March Theme song.
Disney Digital Network launched Club Mickey Mouse, re-booting the storied 60-year old Disney franchise — The Mickey Mouse Club — for a new generation of Disney fans. Over the course of seven weeks, DDN premiered seven showcase music videos including a reimagined Mickey Mouse Club March theme song and an always-on stream of content.
Club Mickey Mouse has since generated over 375 million impressions, over 55 million video views and over 2.5 million engagements. So, how does Disney manage to keep this franchise fresh and give it new energy for today’s audience? Gabriel Lewis, VP of Content at Disney Digital Network, said, “This format made sense for us to bring back as a digital-first format and to find a new generation of really young and talented mouseketeers that could connect with their peers, that was the goal.” He added, “This cast of Mousekeeters is so talented and you can’t help but root for them. They’ve embodied the Disney spirit in a meaningful way.”
To support Club Mickey Mouse, the Walt Disney Corporation has lent its full support.
Lewis said, ” They have rallied behind the new Club Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney Records released our singles on digital music stores. The Disney Channel released our videos. Walt Disney World invited the Mouseketeers to Grand Marshall the Magic Kingdom parade. And, our cast also starred in the Disney Parks Magical holiday celebration special that aired on ABC. The company has rallied behind the franchise.”
With all these numbers on digital strategy, the Disney Digital Network clearly knows and understands its audience and target. Lewis explained, “We want to speak the languages of those platforms. We want to be fluent in those platforms. If you follow Club Mickey on Instagram, there were a lot of Instagram only assets, that were created using Boomerang. All of it was shot square or vertically and we gave them (the Mouseketeers) phones and let them do their thing. They were empowered to take selfies on set. We wanted them to use those. We wanted them to speak those languages. The key is not to try to force your format onto your platform. It is to understand the platform where the audience lives so people will consume it in a more organic way.”
Lewis continued, “I think it speaks to the ongoing power and resonance of the Disney brand as much as anything else. If you combine that inherent affinity that audiences of all generations have with a cast of really talented, authentic, digital-first creators who are our new Mouseketeers, it’s setting you up for success.”