Media & Communication

Janis Mitchell

Disney Synergy and Commodification:

From Mickey to Miley

It is no accident that the Walt Disney Company has become one of the largest media corporations ever. As early as Steamboat Willie's debut in 1928, Walt Disney saw how media cross-promotion could launch the success of The Mouse and his friends. Beginning with one simple Mickey Mouse writing tablet, Disney has launched an uncountable number of products and lines for each of its films and cartoons. From there, Walt and Co. moved into television with Disneyland (the show) and The Mickey Mouse Club, both of which were created with the sole purpose of promoting the Disney Company and its upcoming theme park. With the opening of Disneyland in 1955, Disney had refined its standard-setting synergy strategy-the ultimate in cross-promotional activities. With the latest advances in technology, it was only a matter of time before Disney took its promotional tactics to the next level- with the innovative mass-marketing strategies for Hannah Montana and High School Musical. The implications for the commodification of childhood are considered.