Eyes & Ears eNews 01-2014

Interview with Nico Wohlschlegel and Ole Türck about the new Disney Channel

This past Friday, the new free-TV Disney Channel went on the air. Eyes & Ears of Europe had the opportunity to interview the persons responsible for the marketing of this new channel, Nico Wohlschlegl, Director Marketing & Creative, Disney Channels GSA, and Ole Türck, Head of On Air.

To start a new free-TV channel presents opportunities as well as challenges. Where do you see those?

Wohlschlegel: German free-TV is a highly competitive market, but we have strong differentiators to position ourselves successfully. With the launch of the Disney Channel on free-TV, we offer a station that is available nationwide, with which we create a central access to all Disney content and enable children, families and adults to use Disney quality programmes. Therefore, we increase our presence on the German free-TV market and make a lasting contribution to increasing the popularity of the Disney brand and our characters.

Was there a launch campaign for the new free-TV channels? If so, what is the content and key visual of the campaign, and through what media has it been spread?

Wohlschlegel: Yes, the launch of the free-TV Disney Channel was supported by an attention-grabbing and widespread campaign that can be seen on TV, in print, out of home, radio, digital and social media. The unifying element of the campaign is the promise of the quality of the Disney signature and the colour code purple as well as the clear message "Disney for all of us" or "The Disney Channel now on free-TV".

What other marketing activities are planned to draw attention to the new channel?

Wohlschlegel: For a couple of weeks now, we have been using our own diverse communication channels, e.g. on social media, online or trade, to draw attention to the new channel.

Then, on January 15, the broad media campaign started with television commercials on channels like ProSieben and SAT.1, Citylight posters in all cities with over 50,000 inhabitants, advertisements in over 40 print titles, a national radio campaign and digital advertising on over 150 websites.

We also work closely with internal and external partners of the Walt Disney Company – e.g. REWE, Shell, Egmont Ehapa – which help us to start the channel in many different ways.

And of course, the press work, where we have placed a strong focus on TV guides, women's and family magazines, is an important campaign module.

Are promotions planned on the Web or social web?

Wohlschlegel: In addition to the channels already established, such as Disney.de, our Youtube channel and Facebook, we have launched a Twitter channel and work together with various bloggers. To name just a few activities, Kermit the Frog mentioned the launch and the Muppet Show in his New Year's address. Disney fans were able to express their excitement about the launch by sharing their own magical Disney moments on Twitter: #DisneyMoment. Under the motto "Zweinachten", the Disney Channel counted down the 24 days from Christmas Day to January 17 on different communication channels. And of course our 1.2 million Disney fans on Facebook were the first to get information about the new programme.

What about the appearance? Does the corporate design of the new free-TV channel draw on the design of the former pay-TV channel?

Türck: The graphic design of the new Disney Channel was developed from scratch and for the local market in Germany, cannot be taken for granted aith a global group like disney. It is based on the idea of a personal promise of quality in the form of the signature of Walt Disney, a promise that all audiences respond to.

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What was the briefing for the design package for the new Disney channel?

Türck: The design package of the new Disney Channel derives from the Disney brand and should reflect the specific brand values of the new channel – imaginative, touching, amusing, connecting, optimistic. It was important that the design package inspire children and families during the day, as well as adults in the evening, especially women. We wanted a consistent visual identity for the station, one whose appearance is slightly more ambitious in the evening, but always with the optimistic tone that stands for Disney.

What is the central idea of the new design package?

Türck: The core idea is the "Gesture", that is, the movement of the signature with which we transfer the quality promise of Walt Disney to the broadcast content. The "Gesture" shapes all elements such as logo animation, end pages, navigation elements, but also the off-air communication. To strengthen the brand value of the new channel especially in the beginning, special idents were shot that show Magic Moments in the life of our target group – special moments that you like to remember – just like a good Disney movie.

That all sounds like a lot of work. How long was the whole process – from idea to conception and implementation to the start on January 17, 2014?

Wohlschlegel: We have been working on the development and implementation of the channel and communication concept for the German market since December 2012.

Who implemented the design and marketing for the new Disney Channel?

Wohlschlegel: The design was developed in close collaboration with Phillip Wundt and Tim Finnamore of the Munich agency BDA - Bruce Dunlop & Associates. In marketing, we also had strong support from Henning Patzner and the team from Serviceplan.

Last Friday the new Disney Channel went on air. Are you happy with the results so far?

Wohlschlegel: We are very excited about the ratings of the first day, which exceeded our expectations. The successful launch shows that the Disney brand also retains its enormous appeal on Free-TV and our campaign worked brilliantly. More important than individual results however, are the continuous coverage and awareness building. We are looking at the long-term and tehrefore don't think in weeks or months.

Thank you. We wish you lots of success and most of all fun in establishing the new Disney Channel.

SUPER RTL lets children be programme directors

What audience wouldn't like to decide for itself what's on TV? SUPER RTL had the same question and therefore has been appointing children as programme directors since the end of January. Under the motto "Totally TOGGO, totally m1ne!", young viewers of the Cologne-based kids and family channel have the chance to choose which series is broadcast Monday through Friday at 4:15 pm. For four weeks, they can vote at www.toggo.de. The choice of formats includes 'Angelo!', 'Dragons – Die Reiter von Berk', 'Woozle Goozle' and 26 more. The children are not only encouraged to put their favourite shows on the screen. With the help of interactive elements, they can customize the entire TOGGO programme. The young viewers can create their own bumpers and send in personal greetings via internet that will be aired on TV. Also for the weekend, SUPER RTL has come up with something special. Since January 11, fans can send in questions for the nine TOGGO-hosts on www.toggo.de. SUPER RTL will show the answers on air on Saturday and Sunday morning. With the 'Show Quiz', children can show how familiar they are with their favourite programme. Questions are asked shortly before the beginning of the show, the answer come afterwards. With a little luck and the right answer, there are great prizes to be won. More information at www.toggo.de

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Personnel note: Johannes Fischer

Since 14 January 2014, TV journalist Johannes Fischer (68) has been supporting the editors at 'Guten Abend Österreich'. For a limited time, he will focus entirely on the design of the information flagship of the Austrian private station. Most recently, Fischer served as chief editor of the ORF Magazine. Fischer about his upcoming task: "For such an exciting project that is basically an entirely new news show in the evening, I'll gladly lend my expertise."

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Exhibition tip: ‘comicleben_comiclife’

Until 4 May 2014, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg will be showing the exhibition 'comicleben_comiclife'. In the previous century, the cartoon began to be recognised as an independent and versatile form of art between newspaper, illustration and literature – oscillating between high and pop culture. The exhibition focuses on six people who have been involved with comics in various ways. In the process, the comic is considered from the point of view of its producers and its readers. Serb-German comic artist Marko Djurdjevic represents the American superhero comics such as Spiderman and Co.; Austrian illustrator Ulli Lust stands for the graphic novel and author's comics. German publisher Dirk Rehm represents the alternative publishing scene with its solid European network. Dealer and gallery owner Carsten Laqua specialises in early American newspaper comics. The portrait of the famous comic researcher Prof. Dietrich Grünewald focuses on early forms of the comic which were role models for the classic American comic (including pictorial broadsheets from the late 19thcentury and Wilhelm Busch). The costumes and dolls of the cosplayer Nicole S. offer an insight into a fan culture that calls Manga characters to life, re-enacting their stories. More than 300 exhibits will be on view, including drawings, graphic works, large-format prints, comics, merchandising products and web comics. The exhibition is being taken over from the Museum Europäischer Kulturen – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. It was adapted for the Hamburg venue in collaboration with the Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg. 'comicleben_comiclife', until 4 May at the MKG, Steintorplatz, 20099 Hamburg: Opening hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Sundays from 1 am to 6 pm, Thursdays from 10 am to 9 pm, closed on Mondays. Further information at http://www.mkg-hamburg.de/en/exhibitions/current/comicleben-comiclife.html