Out of the Sandbox

If the shoe fits…

I've never really been a Disney girl, but a brilliant new marketing move by the House of Mouse has rekindled my belief in fairytales.
September 12, 2012

Once upon a time a pair of red-soled shoes rekindled my belief in fairytales.

I’ve never really been a Disney girl. I maxed out somewhere between the Mickey Mouse Club and 101 Dalmatians. Despite the requisite trips to Disneyworld and Disneyland with my kids, aquatic Ariel was the closest either of my daughters came to embracing princess-hood.  And I suspect it had more to do with the swishy green fishtail than the romantic love story. Pink and lavender were definitely not our colors, and I always espoused the ethics of the seven dwarfs over the dreams of Snow White.

But suddenly I sense some fairy dust in the air.

In a brilliant marketing move, Disney has captured my imagination…and probably a whole new audience of over-the-hill princesses.  To highlight the release of the classic Cinderella story in Blu-ray,  Disney teamed up with shoe designer Christian Louboutin to give away a pair of Cinderella slippers to the woman  “who best embodies the ideals of the Cinderella fairytale in her own unique fashion.”

To win the shoes she must take a picture of the outfit she would wear with the red-soled Swarovsky crystal-and-lace Louboutins  and post it on Facebook . Merely a photo and a dream and a fairytale ending could be hers.

(By the way, this isn’t the only foray Disney is making into the world of fashion. In another recently announced collaboration, Disney and Barneys New York will be unveiling 2012 holiday windows featuring Disney characters modeling designer clothing modeled against a background of music by Academy Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino. )

So does this bode the introduction of haute couture in preschool?  Emphatically NO! (At least not outside of NYC.) What it exemplifies is true thinking out of the box. Reinventing the wheel with new media mixes.  This is good ol’ Madison Avenue magic brought into the 21st century vernacular. In an effort to create buzz in unexpected places, Disney reinterpreted the classic rags-to-riches story for the modern woman.  (I can already picture Merriweather tweeting the winner!)

It’s this kind of creative thinking that we need to apply to everything we do. Whether it’s writing a script, developing a toy, designing a game, or creating a marketing campaign, connecting the real, the virtual, the aspirational and the inspirational is what resonates. (A little humor never hurts either.) This is our job. It’s what makes our industry fun and great and keeps us young. A simple “bibbity-bobbity-boo” may no longer turn a pumpkin into a coach, but a little augmented reality or a strategically-placed glass slipper can still make girls dream.

Tell me what you’re thinking at wendy@sandboxsummit.org

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