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Tricking and treating with Disney this Halloween

By Jacques Hebert

Google Adwords Account Manager

We’d like to welcome today’s guest blogger, Annjanette Isorda, Senior Manager of New Media Business Development at the Walt Disney Company. Annjanette works with Disney Consumer Products, a division that extends the Disney brand to merchandise ranging from apparel and toys to books, magazines and even food. Today, she shares her experiences on how they use their Disney Living YouTube Channel to engage fans and communicate about holiday promotions.

The Disney Living channel was born in March 2009 when we realized that YouTube could provide a great way to answer the growing demand for entertainment and information on Disney products – everything from bridal fashion shows featuring gowns inspired by our Disney Princesses to sneak peeks of our latest toys and tech gadgets. We’ve found that YouTube has broad appeal and, unlike virtually any other channel, YouTube videos allow us to tell stories that we couldn’t convey in print or other online media. We create original content that you can’t see anywhere else for YouTube fans and the active blogger community.

As we go into the holidays, YouTube has emerged as one of the best ways for us to engage directly with a wide audience. For example, Halloween is an especially fun holiday for us at Disney. To make this year’s festivities unique, we created fun activities for the family on YouTube. We produced a "Disney Store 30 Costumes in 30 Seconds" YouTube Halloween Sweepstakes and have also set up a Halloween Dress Rehearsal Party for families to show off outfits in person (and receive free prizes!). The Disney Living channel helps us easily bridge the online and offline worlds.

Additionally, Disney Living is tricking and treating YouTubers to three scary movie spoofs, inspired by the flicks The Shining, The Ring, & The Sixth Sense. These Ghoulish Greetings are short e-greetings made to delight and surprise our audience. We hope fans will have a laugh and be inspired to share them with family and friends and participate in our Halloween contest with a video response of your own. We’ll choose five lucky winners after Halloween to win a $100 gift card to the Disney Store. We will continue to produce content like this for our YouTube channel because it is a powerful platform that allows us to create value for our subscribers and audience.

Finally, our last advice to anyone else considering building a presence on YouTube: connect it to your other social marketing efforts. We always connect our content to our Facebook fan page and share it in our tweets from Twitter. We’ve promoted the videos to the YouTube community as well to help connect more people to some of our most popular content. We have found using a mix of social media and paid advertising helps us reach both core Disney fans and newcomers.

We’re genuinely excited about engaging with our fans on YouTube and carrying on the Disney tradition of inspirational storytelling. Stay tuned — there will be more YouTube fun as we move into this year’s holiday season!