They say that first impressions are crucial and the folks at Disney are taking that very literally, having recently launched a campaign to begin marketing their products to brand new moms and to babies barely out of the womb.
From the NY Times:
Late last month, the company quietly began pressing its newest priority, Disney Baby, in 580 maternity hospitals in the United States. A representative visits a new mother and offers a free Disney Cuddly Bodysuit, a variation of the classic Onesie.
In bedside demonstrations, the bilingual representatives extol the product’s bells and whistles — extra soft! durable! better sizing! — and ask mothers to sign up for e-mail alerts from DisneyBaby.com. More than 200,000 bodysuits will be given away by May.
Disney and other companies like Fisher-Price and Procter & Gamble, get access to these maternity wards through a company called Our365 that sells bedside baby photos.
On one hand, the goal is to get new moms using Disney Baby products. On the other, it’s also a chance for Disney, which says that many children don’t become familiar with its brand until pre-school age, to introduce the company to children from the get-go.
“Apparel is only a beachhead,” said Andy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products, about the opportunity to crack the estimated $36 billion/year baby product market in North America with everything from bath items to baby food to free theme park tickets for pregnant moms who sign up for e-mail alerts.
“To get that mom thinking about her family’s first park experience before her baby is even born is a home run,” said Mooney, adding that a large number of families do not become consumers of Disney products until their children reach preschool age.
The moms who receive these visits from Disney appear to be at least grateful to receive free stuff for their newborn. “It surprised me that Disney was in there promoting something right as the baby was born,” one mom tells the Times. “But we figured as new parents we weren’t in a position to turn free things down.”
Do you think Disney can manage to get new parents and babies hooked on their products from the start? Or are they just giving away free stuff to people that will still buy whatever they want in the end?