Yesterday, The Walt Disney Company announced a new set of guidelines for food advertising on its programming that targets kids and families. To summarize, the company in 2015 will begin restricting ads for unhealthy foods and promoting those that contribute to a nutritious diet, encourage kid-appropriate portions, and limit sodium, sugar, saturated fat, and trans fat. Disney is the first major media company to introduce new standards for food advertising targeting children.
In addition to its new advertising standards, Disney also introduced the “Mickey Check” tool, an icon that calls out nutritious food and menu items sold in stores, online, and at restaurants and food venues at its U.S. Parks and Resorts.
While Disney’s announcement is monumental in our nation’s fight against childhood obesity, it’s also a smart branding move that strategically realigns the company with one of its core brand values — to be a good corporate citizen. More specifically, to:
Act and create in an ethical manner and consider the consequences of our decisions on people and the planet
Champion the happiness and well-being of kids and families in our endeavors
Inspire kids and families to make a lasting, positive change in the world
As a marketer, I stand up and applaud Disney’s bold business move. Over the years, I been tasked with branding and messaging initiatives that help shape (or reshape) a company’s most important asset — its brand. It’s no easy task to develop a company’s (or product’s) brand strategy and then continually educate your employees and partners on its key attributes. Let’s face it…along the way you’re bound to swerve off course and even make painful business corrections (like Netflix).
But you keep moving towards one end goal. A strong brand will define who you are and how you’re seen by others. It speaks for you when you’re not there.