Monday, 19 April 2004

Building a better mouse

The New York Times have just published a great piece about the dwindling importance of the Mickey Mouse brand and Disney's attempts at rejuvenating the character.

"The company has indeed made quiet attempts to find him. In 2002, Disney marketing officials set up a Mickey ''situation room,'' stocked floor to ceiling with thousands of examples of mouse merchandise, to show executives from every division, brought in for tours, that the character was inconsistent and in need of refocusing. (Licensees were somewhat randomly producing four different generations of Mickey likenesses.) At around the same time, said a branding executive who did not wish to risk reprisals by allowing his name to be used, Disney ''put out feelers'' among animators for ideas about remaking the Mouse. Disney officials deny it, saying that the 18-month program of special events and new product releases that commenced on his 75th birthday, last November, was not an attempt to revive a flagging brand but merely a company-wide effort at ''showcasing'' Mickey more successfully. But it is not immediately clear how the 75 giant Mickey statues they gave celebrities to decorate might do that."


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