The Disney Princess franchise was launched in India in 2005. It retails in nearly a lakh retail outlets and is one of the fastest growing franchises in India, averaging to over 60 to 70 per cent growth year on year, claims Disney UTV.
Campaign India caught up with Roshni Bakshi, managing director, DCP, Retail and Publishing, Disney UTV to learn more about the Disney Princess Academy which is making its India debut, among other things.
Campaign India (CI): What are the marketing initiatives undertaken to promote Disney Princess Academy?
Roshni Bakshi (RB): We started putting the ads on air across the Disney channel network and some of the regional channels from 25 September onwards and advertising the will be on until 21 October when the contest closes. We also have radio partners in a couple of cities who will start promoting this. On the online channel especially in the form of facebook, we are asking mums to come forward and participate through Disney India Facebook page where they can play a game and they have the opportunity to win passes for the event. We have also done a print campaign across all the Times newspapers as well as in Mumbai Mirror. We also have retail partners who have come on board and put up material in all the stores, and are also running their own individual contests for the event.
CI: What is the objective of bringing such events to India?
RB: This is an aggressively promoted event, and it is a brand building campaign. The objective is to further build the excitement around the stories of Princesses amongst our target segment and consumers. I believe that today we are in the right place. Over the last three years, Disney has been one of the fastest growing brands in India in the girls segment. Globally, it is 4 billion dollars in retail sales of merchandise. It is the largest girl brand for children in the age group of three to ten.
CI: What is the ROI you expect from these events?
RB: For us our events are an important way of getting our kids to experience the princess story and the magic of our characters. Truly for us the ROI comes when we see the children engaged and happy, and we believe that we have lifelong consumers with us. Today they are little girls, tomorrow they will become mothers and they will continue to buy into our various brands at various life stages. To us that is the ROI, we look at very long term ROI, it is not an event-based ROI. So we are not a typically FMCG company who says here is an event now let us look at the ROI. For us our consumers are lifelong fans and we have seen that across the world.
CI: What are the challenges faced while marketing Disney’s products in India?
RB: India is a large country and unlike all the countries, if I were to compare it to China where you would put all your marketing dollars in two or three cities, you would pretty much get the value. Here our consumers are dispersed across the country and that to me is an interesting opportunity and challenge. Therefore, it is important to use all the media channels and vehicles that we have to an optimum level in order to reach our consumers. Therefore, some of the campaigns do become a little more expensive.
CI: How do you intend to tackle the issue of piracy?
RB: Piracy to me shows that there is a demand gap between what the companies are supplying and what the consumers are demanding. So when I see a pirated product I actually say, 'My God, I have this much more opportunity that I have not fulfilled.' We are actually working continuously to create products, which are at different price points in order to reach out to different income based consumers who still aspire to own a Mickey pencil or T-shirt….
CI: Could you comment on Disney’s success in India?
RB: Our consumers in India have connected well with our stories. When you read a Princess book, or watch a Spiderman movie. it is not alien. It actually reaches out, connects more easily with our consumers, and thus become successful. We have seen that our stories are stories that everyone can associate themselves with.