Disney’s reach into childhood seems to be, as an understatement, sweeping. After all, many people remember childhood days spent watching Disney movies and television shows or playing with toys modeled after their favorite characters. And who could forget that feeling of billions of butterflies fluttering in your stomach while looking forward to a much coveted Disney theme park trip? While it seems as though most children and families do not become consumers of Disney’s products until the child is around preschool age, the company seeks to start marketing its products to children sooner in their lifetime–as newborns.
As reported in the New York Times, Disney sent representatives late January into 580 maternity hospitals across the United States. In these visits, they promoted the Disney Cuddly Bodysuit, which they gifted to new mothers. Representatives provided bedside demonstrations and asked mothers to sign up for their email alerts. Disney is planning to give away 200,000 of these bodysuits by May, right around the time retailers like Amazon, Nordstrom, and Target will carry the Disney Baby products.
This sales endeavor was made possible by Disney’s partnership with a company by the name of Our365, which sells baby bedside pictures. This company pays hospitals for exclusive access to maternity wards and Disney pays to promote their products, as do companies like Fisher-Price and Proctor & Gamble. Disney already operates a line of licensed infant products enabled by simple licensing deals, but have only been able to achieve limited results. This is due to their simple licensing deals which, for example, give them exclusive relationship with companies such as Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Huggies brand diapers.