Disney Seeks UK Bank Marketing Partner for ‘Pirates’ Promo

23 July 2002

The Walt Disney Company, “home of family entertainment … is considering an unprecedented union with Mammon,” according to a news story in Monday’s issue of London-based The Times.

The mooted compact between the family-targeting media giant and “Mammon” that so surprised the London daily is the former’s attempt to enlist one or more of the UK’s clearing banks in a partnership to promote its upcoming animated movie Pirates of the Caribbean, based on one of the most popular rides at Disney World.

That The Times considers Disney’s plan to link promotionally with another commercial organisation not normally associated with familial matters as “unprecedented”, suggests that the Murdoch-owned newspaper has hitherto confined its media newsgathering to the planet Krypton.

WAMN readers, on the other hand, will be well aware that the media mammoth has a long history of non-familial joint promotional deals – Italian bank BPVN, US retail chain Home Depot, Bank One and Visa to name but four.

Although not scheduled for UK release until next summer, Disney executives have been touting the film to a number of UK high street banks, reportedly including Lloyds TSB, Barclays, HBOS and Nationwide.

Such a promotional partnership, said Disney senior vp of international marketing Ignacio Darnaude, would be considered provided “it enhances the brand and is something fun and different. It is all about execution and being tasteful.”

The joint-promo could include such ‘tasteful’ activities as featuring characters from the movie within bank branches, the aesthetic branding of children’s bank accounts with the film’s dramatis personae, and stylishly trailing the epic via the bank’s electronic ATMs.

But Disney remains tastefully coy about its flirtation with Britain's banking community, saying only that “it is too soon to comment on any deal in the UK”.

Data sourced from: The Times (London); additional content by WARC staff