Disney+ says massive launch marketing blitz in SG 'unmatched' in scale to any prior stunts

Disney+ is launching in Singapore today, and is going all out in a massive marketing blitz all across Singapore. In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Amit Malhotra, regional lead for Disney+ SEA, said the campaign is "unmatched in magnitude, scale and reach from what Disney has ever endeavoured in Singapore".

The campaign, which started in January, comprised of a 360 marketing strategy, but the highest weight of cumulated activity has been occurring in the last three weeks prior to the launch. Disney+ has utilised platfroms ranging from TV to radio, OOH and online to maximise its exposure. 

To generate excitement among audiences, Disney+ released six thematic countdown-to-launch spots online that were filmed around Singapore. Starting from six days prior to launch, each spot focused on a different content offering on the platform. They also featured recognisable local cultural elements and landmarks such as Orchard Road, hawker centres, and the central business district [Scroll to the bottom to check out the teasers].

For TV and radio, Malhotra told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that the team "cherry-picked" primetime shows and channels so as to ensure maximum awareness. Banking heavily on OOH executions, the team also ran ads across the nation, including key billboards at Midpoint Orchard, along the Ayer Rajah Expressway at Tanjong Pagar, and Holland Village. Disney+ also took over the walls of ION Retail Gateway, and MRT stations at Dhoby Ghaut, Serangoon, Tampines and Buona Vista.

On the road, the streaming platform placed a bus shelter marquee and screen wraps at Bugis Street, as well as bus and taxi wraps to catch more eyeballs. Disney+ also placed ads on more than 160 SPH digital screens in Singapore. To ensure reach to the heartland community, Disney+ also utilised over 640 YouTV@Estates screens, which placed Disney+ ads in areas such as house estates, neigbourhoods, lift lobbies, community centres, market places and transport hubs.

Additionally, Disney+ worked with influencers such as mrbrown, Jianhao Tan, and the cast from SGAG to generate buzz around its launch. Disney's marketing plan also consisted of digital takeovers on various platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, and Channel NewsAsia. Disney+ has declined to comment on the amount invested into its entire campaign. 

Disney+'s campaign was complemented by StarHub's media campaign as well. In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, a spokesperson from StarHub said the media campaign consists of online banners placed across platforms such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and the Grab app, as well as video advertisements on platforms including StarHub channels, Facebook, and YouTube. StarHub also placed OOH ads on buses, trains, MRT stations, and in Golden Village cinemas. StarHub is the official distributor of Disney+ in Singapore, having inked an exclusive agreement with the streaming platform in January. 

disney launch aye

disney launch aye

disney launch cna

disney launch youtube

For its executions, Disney+ worked with Golin for its PR and comms efforts, and had production support from Moving Bits. Media buys were handled by Publicis Singapore, while social media efforts are done by both Publicis Singapore and VaynerMedia. Meanwhile, Publicis Communications was also appointed last year to handle digital duties in SEA for Disney and FOX earlier in July 2020. 

Why the massive blitz? 

According to Malhotra, the aim of the campaign was to "surprise and excite consumers" about Disney+. The approach to its media plan was also to establish its "unparalleled suite of brands" in an impactful and "widespread physical and digital" manner through media spaces - all to signify that Disney+ Singapore is here to stay. He added: 

The plan was not only to drive talkability, but to do so in a disruptive manner.

Given the competitive landscape in streaming platforms, Disney+ also wanted consumers to have a clear understanding of its content offering, giving them ample information about the service to make an informed decision about their subscription plans.

"Our brand proposition was built around the breadth and depth of our content library, clearly outlining what each content pillar offers. With the introduction of Star, a brand new general entertainment content pillar, it was key to broaden Disney+’s appeal from a family audience to a streaming platform that has something for everyone," Malhotra added. 

Aside from raising awareness of its launch, Malhotra said that the core of the campaign lies in its ability to listen to consumers and take swift action on their feedback. Through social listening, he said the team has been closely tracking consumers’ feedback and murmurs online and refining its messaging as it goes. "Our campaign is not set in stone – it is constantly on ‘live’ mode that gives us the flexibility to pivot and action almost immediately," Malhotra added. 

Focus on content marketing post launch

Following the launch today, in a true Disney style, the team will also be putting up a 30-minute show tomorrow night which will feature musical performances by renowned Singapore-born musicians such as JJ Lin, Nathan Hartono, Benjamin Kheng and Annette Lee. The artists will be performing Disney songs during the show. Disney+ also teases of a "surprise visual spectacle" in the Grand Finale - much like the parades it is known for. Titled "A Night of Disney+", the show will be televised simultaneously on Mediacorp's Channel 5, Channel 8, and StarHub’s Hub E-City channel 111/825. It will also be streamed on meWATCH and Facebook.

Following its launch, Disney+ will be releasing a major content marketing campaign that is centred around “Home of Marvel”. This campaign looks to amplify its Marvel content on the platform, which includes WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier (launching in March) and Loki (launching in May).

"The wide-ranging content across the six brands on our service will be a key driver for our marketing, and we will continue to put the spotlight on new titles. Concurrently, our marketing campaigns will also increasingly highlight and go deeper into specific content pillars and their target audiences, for example Kids & Family content to families, and documentaries to documentary lovers. This would be the key strategy underpinning our brand new content pillar, Star, of which we want to build awareness around its young adult and general entertainment content," Malhotra said.

amit maholtra
 Amit Malhotra, regional lead for Disney+ SEA

Disney+ in Singapore boasts an offering of over 650 films and 15,000 episodes of content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and Star. In a previous press release, The Walt Disney Company said that Singapore is the first market globally to launch Disney+ with all six content brands. Additionally, the entertainment company said the platform will also be home to a growing selection of exclusive Disney+ Originals content and specials, including The Mandalorian, Marvel Studios’ WandaVision, Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, Disney and Pixar’s Forky Asks a Question, and Broadway musical Hamilton. Its Star content will also include general entertainment hits such as How I Met Your Mother, Family Guy, and Deadpool.

Malhotra said then, that with Disney+ launch in Singapore, the company takes another step in staying committed to its promise of delivering powerful stories with heart to consumers. “Streaming services have become an integral part of the daily lives for many consumers in Singapore, and we are dedicated to ensuring that Disney+ offers the best-in-class entertainment experience for all audiences,” he also said.

Earlier this month, Disney+ also held a press event at the Hybrid Broadcast Studio at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre where content offerings on the platform were showcased during the event, along with a Q&A session with Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and chief creative officer of Marvel, as well as Osnat Shurer, producer of Raya and the Last Dragon.

Related Articles:
Singapore first market to launch Disney+ with all 6 content brands
Disney splits APAC and India leadership, names Luke Kang head of Asia ops
Disney reorganises media and entertainment biz, ramps up D2C strategy
Netflix unfazed by 'streaming wars', lays out content strategies ahead