The account will be handled by a multi-disciplinary team put together by Dentsu, in what is a new structure for the entertainment giant, after previously forming partnerships with traditional media agencies in various markets.
The appointment follows an extensive pitch that played out over the summer after a formal media RFP and further solidifies Disney’s global partnership with Dentsu Aegis Network.
In addition to this recent win, Dentsu currently works with Disney across the US, Canada, Latin America, EMEA, Greater China and Japan for its parks, media, consumer, studio and interactive businesses.
The scope of the SEA account includes strategy and creative planning, regional coordination and alignment, media planning, buying, and reporting for digital, ATL and on-ground execution.
Dentsu Mobius will be the lead agency coordinating with Dentsu Media across six markets: Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines. One of the key remits for the agency is to align and consolidate the strategic and creative media offerings across SEA.
In a statement provided by Dentsu, Alex Baillie, head of studio marketing for The Walt Disney Company SEA, said the company is pleased to extend its working relationship with Dentsu into Southeast Asia.
“Dentsu Mobius have a deep understanding of these markets and their media landscapes,” he said. “Their creative and innovative approach will help us bring magical moments and memories that last a lifetime to Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars fans across the region.”
Commenting on the win, James Hawkins, CEO of Dentsu Mobius and president of Dentsu’s digital capabilities for South and Southeast Asia, described the opportunity to work on the account as “an incredibly exciting prospect.”
He credited the win to the collaborative approach demonstrated by the teams across the entire region and the network’s unwavering belief that a creatively led media proposition will take Disney’s business to “the next level.”
“Their continued creative genius and drive to innovate is a lip-smacking proposition for any agency to partner with,” he added. “I am massively proud of the team and now the hard work begins.”
In an interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific, Hawkins said that Disney, at its heart, is known for great storytelling.
“And because of that, they needed a creative-led media approach to ensure those stories reached the hearts and minds of moviegoers,” he said.
“We approached this first from a creative proposition using our proprietary market insights to shape Disney’s owned, earned and paid media to tell an engaging story. From this position we were able to work with Disney to build a robust media ecosystem that will ultimately deliver box office results.”
The partnership is well underway with work being done on Disney Studios' end of the year cinematic line up: the new Pixar movie Good Dinosaur, immediately followed by Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
Hawkins shared that these titles were launched on a “very compressed timeline”, to show the flexibility and resources of the Dentsu Network.
To illustrate, for the Good Dinosaur, the overall creative concept #FindArlo was executed in phases across markets based on market-specific insights and media understanding from Dentsu Aegis Network’s proprietary tool called CCS (Consumer Connection System).
"In an established movie market like Singapore, we were able to take a more direct approach, teaming up with Clear Channel to do #FindArlo missing posters on top of existing digital assets to add a level of engagement and intrigue to the execution," said Hawkins.
In Vietnam, the team worked with Yan TV to use their social channels, influencers and media placements to gather consumers to help spot Arlo. In addition, the team worked with Disney’s regional team for site executions to the movie microsite, to gain social buzz and buy into the campaign.
Asked about challenges to overcome, Hawkins said that while Disney’s stories are timeless, keeping to the universal themes that make its movies household names around the world, the understanding of each movie franchise as well as consumer profile is widely diverse.
“It’s an exiting challenge to be working with them to truly align their work across the diverse countries that make up Southeast Asia,” he added.
Dick van Motman, chairman and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Southeast Asia said that the network finds “the most exciting challenges in iconic, legendary brands.”
“It goes without saying that Disney falls into that category,” he added. “It’s testament to our unique operating model that we are able to offer a cross-brand proposition that resonates with blue chip clients like these and we are proud to extend the larger regional relationship with Disney in Southeast Asia.”