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Wal-Mart partners with Disney for back-to-school mobile push

With the back-to-school season approaching, retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is helping parents deal with sleepy students transitioning from a carefree summer schedule to a wake-up routine.

Wal-Mart has teamed up with Disney for free wake-up calls and customized activity reminders from Hannah Montana, star of the hit Disney Channel television series. By logging on to, moms and dads can select the date, time and theme of their child's wake-up call or activity reminder and have them sent to their kid's mobile phone.

"It is truly a challenge for parents to get their kids back into school mode," said Shannon Frederick, senior communications manager for Wal-Mart, Bentonville, AR. "Wal-Mart is arming parents with a fun way to get their kids back on track."

Once parents register their child for a free call from pop sensation Hannah Montana, an email will immediately be sent to the parent confirming the date and time of the call.

Calls are limited to five per phone number and email. Registrants must be 18 or older to register.

There is no cost associated with signing up for the wake-up calls. They are available anytime through Sept. 15. Standard mobile phone charges may apply.

Three different messages from the Hannah Montana character are available.

The first is a wake-up call and the second is a customizable school activity reminder.

In the wake-up call, Hannah Montana says, "It's time to wake up and get a move-on!" For the reminder, Hannah Montana says, "Don't forget about art class," depending on the activity.

The third alert is a shopping reminder. It says, "Be a superstar and get your things together!" It then reminds the listener that Wal-Mart is packed with Hanna Montana gear.

Audio files of the Hannah Montana back-to-school calls are available for download at

The last call is a back-to-school shopping reminder which promotes the fact that Wal-Mart has Hannah Montana-themed wardrobe including enough tops, bottoms, socks and accessories for one week of school.

Some items are exclusive only to Wal-Mart shoppers.

"This initiative really lets us reach out to tweens in a way that is unique and connects that tween to Hannah Montana in a way that is really personal, " said Aaron Hunt, manager of corporate communications for Disney, Glendale, CA.

The items that are exclusive to Wal-Mart shoppers are tees, skirts, jeans, socks, pajamas, necklaces, bracelets, backpacks, notebooks, writing sets and binders.

"Through this promotion, Wal-Mart is adding some extra fun and excitement to the back-to-school season for all Hannah Montana fans," Wal-Mart's Ms. Frederick said.

Ms. Frederick said research suggests that parents devote a week to prepare their kids for a back-to-school wake-up routine.

"This is a fun way to remind parents that Wal-Mart is here to help with all of their back-to-school needs," she said.