Disney to Bring Back ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ as a Facebook Show

Remember those Mouseketeers? They’re back, but for a Facebook audience.

Disney is creating a new series called “Club Mickey Mouse,” a remixed version of the classic variety show “Mickey Mouse Club” that aired on-and-off between 1955 and 1996. But instead of airing on TV like its predecessor, “Club Mickey Mouse” will be a Facebook exclusive series.

“That’s the beauty,” Josh Mattison, vice president of digital ad sales for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, told CNBC. “We’re not bound to one format. We’re not bound to one length. … You don’t have those same lines when you’re not producing 11s and 22s [referring to 11-minutes and 22-minute standard length TV series]. What makes sense for a consumer? How long would you spend looking at something?”

The announcement was made during its Digital Content NewFront presentation in New York on Tuesday, which is an annual presentation where advertisers preview upcoming online video programming. Other Facebook shows included a series focused on millennial fathers, an animated gaming-themed show called “Coin,” and an IBM-sponsored Star Wars series called “Science and Star Wars,” which is also part of the Facebook Anthology program.

“Branded content is a priority for Facebook,” Rita Ferro, president of advertising sales for Disney, told CNBC. “We’re going to be working with them on a bunch of things.”

“Club Mickey Mouse” is one of nine programs created in partnership with Facebook Anthology, advertising partnerships between the platform, media companies and brands.

“It’s really a partnership with Facebook where we come to the market together,” Ferro said.

No cast has been named for “Club Mickey Mouse,” but the company will draw from Maker Studios, its in-house multichannel network and talent company. The original “Mickey Mouse Club” was notable for launching the careers of Annette Funicello, Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Kerri Russell, among others.

Disney Launches 5-part YouTube Series About Fashion and Style

Disney’s taking its Disney Style brand global with a five-part YouTube video series launching today. It ups the ante for Disney Style, an editorial brand launched in 2013 as a blog and YouTube channel aimed at Millennials who are also fans of Disney when it comes to fashion and beauty.

The Disney Style site sees more than 1.6 million visits monthly and has more than 730,000 Facebook followers.

The YouTube series, called “Destination: Disney Style,” takes that to a new level with five episodes, running anywhere from about three to five minutes.

“This is the first time we’ve taken Disney Style globally,” said Disney vice president of social content and programming Dan Reynolds. “In each city, we highlighted some of the best collabs that we have. We also are able to highlight street style and how the fans are bringing Disney into their life in fashion and in their lifestyle.”

Disney Fashion Style

All five episodes of the digital series will be shown as a sneak-peek event this evening at YouTube Space L.A., an outpost in Playa Vista of the video-sharing site that serves as a production facility and resource for creatives. The first video, hosted by YouTube influencer LaurDIY, visits Disney Expo Japan 2016, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea while also looking at how Disney is fused into the style of the Harajuku Girls.

Product from collaborations with Misa Harada, Coach, Harveys, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, Cath Kidston, Trina Turk, Topshop, Forever 21 and others, involving a range of Disney characters will be on display at the event.

“We’re very planful,” said Josh Silverman, executive vice president of global licensing. “We want to always develop partnerships that are authentic and capture the right spirit of both our characters, our franchises, our brands, as well as the collaboration partner’s style and expression.”

The Tokyo episode will be followed Aug. 9 with Jaleesa Moses looking at Shanghai Fashion Week and use of Minnie Mouse in work from designers Ji Cheng, Lulu Han, Makin Ma and Cindy Soong. Meredith Foster hosts the third episode, to be released Aug. 16, and focused on the Disney x Coach collection in New York City. Disney’s collaboration with Cath Kidston will be part of the Aug. 23 episode, hosted by Lucy & Lydia with LaurDIY rounding out the series in Los Angeles for a first look at the Forever 21 and Disney/Pixar collaboration.

“It was really important to us to have people who organically, on their own, believe in Disney and bring Disney into their life through fashion,” Reynolds said of the influencers tapped to be in the series.

Disney’s strategic about its social media use, even with the digital series being YouTube-based. The company will also bring elements of it to channels such as Instagram and Facebook, thus creating what Reynolds called an ecosystem around the show.

Disney Style is a predominantly female audience, with the core being 18 to 34 year olds. “It’s largely young women who grew up with the Disney brand and have this deep emotional attachment with the brand, and they want to keep Disney in their life through fashion and lifestyle,” Reynolds said. “It’s through a very stylized way. It isn’t always overtly Disney.”

E-commerce is integrated into the videos, along with the company’s other digital ventures.

“We can entertain an audience on platforms like Facebook, understand that audience and then give them secondary messaging or follow-up messaging related to the content,” Reynolds said. “So that cycle we see as being really effective. Secondarily, when it’s time for us to get them to convert to purchase, we have another tool for doing that as well.”

That could be an annotation on YouTube that routes people to where they can make a purchase or providing the link to purchase an item posted on Instagram.

From the Los Angeles Times

Disney to Stream ‘Newsies’ Facebook Live Event

Disney will bring the singing and dancing paperboys of hit musical “Newsies” to Facebook Live next week, in the Mouse House’s biggest project to date taking advantage of the social giant’s live video capabilities.

The live performance of the show’s hit number “Santa Fe” will be broadcast from the actual city of Santa Fe, N.M., featuring current touring cast members Joey Barreiro (as Jack Kelly), Morgan Keene (Katherine), Andy Richardson (Crutchie) and Stephen Michael Langton (Davey). The event, starting at 4 p.m. Pacific on Monday, June 20, will be broadcast live on Disney’s Facebook page.

The Facebook Live broadcast will be produced by Disney Interactive Media, which has established a production team exclusively dedicated to producing broadcast-quality live video. The division has delivered Facebook Live content before, including red-carpet coverage and Q&As with stars of Disney movies (including one earlier this week with Bryce Dallas Howard, who stars in the upcoming film “Pete’s Dragon”). But the “Newsies” event marks DI Media’s first foray into creating a live, multi-cam musical production on social media.

“We wanted to do something that we feel hasn’t been done before, to create entertainment content for our fans on Facebook,” said Dan Reynolds, VP of content, social and programming at Disney Interactive Media.

Disney won’t be generating revenue directly from the “Newsies” broadcast, although Reynolds said it is partly designed to drive audiences to the theater. “The No. 1 priority is, ‘How do we use this platform as a new form of broadcast for entertainment?’”

For Facebook, driving up the amount of video content on the massive service has been a top priority. The company is even paying select partners and celebs to produce content for Facebook Live. In the case of “Newsies” broadcast, Disney is fully footing the bill. “It’s an example of the power and capability of the platform for the future,” Reynolds said. “We look at this as an investment.”

Why Facebook, instead of YouTube or other video platforms? Reynolds explained that Facebook is Disney’s top social platform by a long shot, with the main page garnering more than 50 million followers. “We have spent the last five years really building this network around the Disney brand, franchises and characters on Facebook,” he said.

The “Newsies” broadcast on Facebook Live will run about 20 minutes. It will be staged at in front of Santa Fe’s Inn and Spa at Loretto, which has “an iconic adobe New Mexico feel,” Reynolds said.

The show isn’t actually making a stop in Santa Fe, however. The Facebook Live event is timed for the show’s debut in Albuquerque, N.M., where it opens June 21.

The show, based on the 1992 film starring Christian Bale, has attained a cult following among millennials. “Newsies” was Disney’s most-requested show (prior to “Frozen”), according to Jack Eldon, VP of domestic touring and regional engagements for Disney Theatrical.

“‘Newsies’ has surprised us at every turn,” Eldon said. “Because of the demo who love this as their favorite movie, it’s been very active on social.”

The Tony-winning stage musical has been touring since the fall of 2014, and will conclude its national run Oct. 2 in Austin, Texas. Starting in 2017, “Newsies” will be produced through licensing agreements with regional theaters. The show’s music is by Alan Menken with lyrics by Jack Feldman and book by Harvey Fierstein.

Disney Interactive Media, which sits in the Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media group formed last year,  creates content for about 250 properties across the Walt Disney Co. The Mouse House’s social channels have an aggregate of 1.15 billion followers across Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Tumblr.

From Variety

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