For now, Disney Plus is mostly brokering these deals with brands directly. But at CES, the streaming service met with senior agency executives to brainstorm ideas for potential ways to work together beyond a pure ad buy, people at the meeting said. No specific deal was brokered at the event.
Co-marketing is a tried and true tactic that would allow Disney Plus to capitalize on brand dollars while remaining ad-free. Brands are eager to get in front of viewers on premium content and be associated with the brand equity of Disney Plus, said Eric Schmitt, analyst at Gartner.
“There are a lot of reasons why advertisers will be motivated to work with Disney on any terms they can, even if those terms don’t have a lot to do with 15s and 30s,” he said.
Brands are hopeful that co-marketing deals could lead to branded content opportunities on Disney Plus originals, similar to the way brands are integrated into Netflix and Amazon Prime shows. Agency sources tell AdExchanger that Disney is planning to share a list of shows and discuss brand integration opportunities once it finalizes its slate of originals.
But Disney is likely going to be selective about which brands it lets onto Disney Plus. Unlike Netflix, which is heavily ramping up its brand integrations, Disney has multiple revenue streams to cover the costs of SVOD content.
“Disney has always been pretty selective with its particular equity,” Bloxham said. “Disney Plus has the name front and center, so they will quite naturally be sensitive to that.”
If co-marketing deals and brand integrations become the new reality for marketers as consumers engage less with advertising on TV, they’ll have to rethink the way they measure the effectiveness of such opportunities, said Brad Stockton, VP of video innovation at Dentsu Aegis Network.
“For us to know the value, we have to see how many people have the opportunity to see the ad and how many people did see it,” he said. “We’re not getting program-level details.”