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Disney plays dress up with fans and sees results

Walt Disney World has introduced a number of new characters to its photo-generator application following a successful earlier launch with more than 21 million images created, in a move to increase engagement and further encourage fans to have fun with the brand. 

The Show Your Disney Side app boasts a substantial amount of use with Disney fans, maximizing engagement and positive brand sentiment. Many of the millions of photos created were shared throughout social channels, which furthers a genuine fan-connection even more.

"The benefit for Disney in launching a fun app such as this, is that they are able to engage their best customers with a product that will not only gain momentum the longer it is live but will stay in place for a longer than normal run rate," said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis. "The next step Disney should consider is how will this much foot traffic benefit from an action on Disney's side to make this more than fun.  

"Of course this is subliminally promoting all of the Disney characters, and creating further positive brand relationships with their consumers, while it is fun to use," she said.

Fan frenzies
The Disney franchised has bolstered a cult-like following throughout a wide-range of aspects throughout its brands. One of the most fawned-over subset of the Disney name is its theme parks. 

These resorts bolster a significant following, with many fans coming back for Disney vacations multiple times a year. This type of fan base offers a rare opportunity to let its customers do the promoting and let the brand take a back seat, creating a more authentic image. 

The new image blinks and smiles, and can be shared seamlessly through the user?s social media platforms, allowing Disney to avoid an overly sponsored promotion, but instead appear more genuine. 

Show Your Disney Side recently updated, releasing character generators from Disney attractions such as Enchanted Tales with Belle, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Toy Story Midway Mania. Characters from Frozen Fun, Star Tours and Pirates the Caribbean are also available to play with. 
Originally launching in March, the app has seen significant success with millions of images being generated and shared through social media. It is available for iOS users on iPad and iPhones (see more). 

Immersing in brands
Fans enjoy immersive themselves into the brand, with a unique spin on marketing. Many are interested in transforming their pictures into many of these beloved, or infamous characters. 

Similarly, apparel accessories marketer Coach recently enabled fans to virtually place their pets in Coach bags via a new feature in the brand's mobile application whose launch coincides with the kick-off of the #CoachPups campaign to raise funds to combat animal cruelty (see more). 

"The Show Your Disney Side is certainly a fun app to play with and with 21 million pictures generated since March shows tremendous lift," Ms. Troutman said  "While consumers can share results via text, social media, email and also create and share videos, there is not an action that is attached with the 'fun app' that would benefit Disney, and with the amazing traffic. 

"It is a shame they are missing an opportunity to talk to their consumers about news, products, customized benefits to them, etc," she said. "There are so many ways they could create an action through this type of engagement that I can not help but feel they are missing out. 

"Of course in the App Store Disney does have over 100 apps available for various interactions, so this could be intentional. This also could very well follow their app strategy, which is critical to have in place."

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer