In a world first for Disney, the entertainment company premiered its film to young Australian fans at 30,000ft above land on Saturday.
“As a parent, it’s magical to see the kids’ faces light up as they watch Disney’s Planes on a Qantas 767 while soaring above Australia,” says John Cracknell, MD of The Walt Disney Company Australia.
Disney is teaming up with FMCG companies and retailers, including Big W, Woolworths, Target, and Coles, on pre-store and instore Planes initiatives.
Coles will adorn the packaging of its pears in Planes cartoon characters this month, as part of Disney’s ongoing healthy eating initiative with the supermarket.
Disney is also teaming up with Hoyts and Target for a retail offer, which gives shoppers a discount on Target merchandise with a Planes ticket stub.
On the FMCG side of things, Coca-Cola is launching Planes branded Mount Franklin water, and local company, Park Avenue, is developing chocolates around the film for Easter.
Disney identifies six activation points in Australia: retail, cinemas, Disney on Ice, TV, online, and performance theatres for musicals, such as The Lion King, which opens in Sydney in December.
It identifies its target shopper as both parents and children.
Pete Bird, GM of licensing and consumer sales, The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand, told Inside Shopper it has “something for almost everyone”.
“We’ve got exciting and unique new partnerships and products around Planes that families will experience in the aisles of Woolworths, Big W, Target, Toys R Us, and Myer,” says Bird.
Nine year old twins, Kate and Alyssa, told Inside Shopper on Saturday they plan to visit Toy R Us to buy movie merchandise after the Qantas screening.
“We want the Australian plane, Rochelle, and the main plane, Dusty. We’ll probably go to Toys R Us because they have lots of toys and it’s cheaper,” said Kate.
The twins’ mother, Amanda Elbahou, says her daughters mostly shop with their own pocket money and make their own decisions about purchasing.
“They usually have this soft toy fetish as soon as they see a particular movie, but then that goes away and they’ll want the electronics and interactive toys,” she says.
Disney typically launches instore campaigns before a film’s premiere, with some Planes merchandise already available ahead of its September school holiday release.
Planes is a spin off of Disney’s animated film franchise, Cars.
Cars 2 was the biggest ever licensed event for The Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand in terms of wholesale sales and sales to retail.