No More Playhouse for Disney Junior

By Mash Bonigala

Although we tend to think of small children as innocent and naïve, they are one of the most challenging consumer groups to market to. They are also very visual, making professional logo design one of the most important parts of any tot-friendly brand. No one knows about marketing to the smallest consumers better than the Disney Corporation, which is why they are constantly rebranding different areas of their business to better reach their youthful market.

Disney fans saw an example of this in October, when Disney closed their popular Playhouse Disney cable channel and replaced it with Disney Junior. The channel’s popular shows, such as Handy Manny, were switched over, but the brand is completely different. Playhouse Disney was clearly marketed to very young children, with an elementary color scheme and large memorable mouse ears in the logo design. Disney Junior is less preschool and more kindergarten with large, blocky letters that are squeezed together tightly. The Disney name is also more prominently displayed, helping to build the overall brand.

This is consistent with other changes in the channel; Playhouse Disney was aimed at an audience between ages two and five, while Disney Junior has content for a market of two through age seven. Playhouse Disney will continue to air in several key overseas markets, but the American audience just may be a test for Disney Junior’s overall global viability. Can a slightly older age range be convinced to watch the same channel as their young siblings? With the right brand, it is at least a possibility.

One benefit of this new logo is that it has a very distinctive shape. This means that Disney has the freedom to change the logo design colors and images to market different shows. This helps children to associate their favorite shows with the Disney network, possibly creating lifelong brand loyalties. In addition, the basic logo in red and black is a recognizable part of the Disney brand, also helping to create those same enduring preferences. This logo also can be animated in fun ways to ensure that children remember it better.

You don’t get to be as popular as Disney without having a good grasp of marketing and branding. This new logo design will be a better representative of the Disney brand and tie the shows into the channel and the brand that airs them. It will also help them keep their viewers for a few more years, at which point they will be old enough to better appreciate the offerings on the tween-oriented Disney Channel.

What can smaller businesses learn from a huge multinational corporation like Disney? Marketing to children may be difficult, but it can be done with a professional logo design and attention to branding details. Reaching out to this young market can pay off both right now and in the future. This is the age where loyalties are made, so the right brand can build a customer base that will last a lifetime.