Sunday, March 1, 2009

When You Wish Upon a Star....

Dear Readers,

I am fortunate enough to be invited to speak to groups of social media industry people and entrepreneurs and am often asked how I balance my corporate identity and my personal identity as it relates to social media, specifically Twitter. My Twitter ID is SavvyAuntie, but my avatar is a photo of me (taken by the acclaimed fashion photographer, Chiun-Kai Shih!)

My response is that I am my brand. And since I am a 'family' brand, I don't curse, get negative or political. "You never know when Disney(C) may want to advertise," I say.

Well guess what? Disney approached me to advertise! Specifically, it's Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE) that approached me for a very interesting opportunity. It's new, modern and part of the innovative digital marketing approach called: Conversational Marketing.

Specifically, WDSHE has asked me to help them promote the premier of the 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition of Walt Disney's(C) Pinocchio on Blu-ray and DVD on Twitter. Yes. Twitter.

The first thing I told them was that I would be writing this blog post and tweeting it several times to let my Followers know that I would be working on this pilot project with them. (I am the first and only one they have approached to do this). They agreed. I also told them that everything that I tweeted out would be authentic, transparent and honest. They agreed. Finally, I told them that it had to be conversational and seamless with regard to how I always connect on Twitter. They agreed.

What's interesting about this campaign, which also includes run-of-site display ads on, is that it's positive reinforcement that those who are engaging, give support, share great content, add value, and connect in the conversation, can be rewarded with becoming an emissary for a brand like Disney.

I did my due diligence. I consulted with some of the people I respect the most in social media to get their opinions. I studied the launch of the Pinocchio 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition Blu-ray and DVD and feel strongly that it suits the Savvy Auntie brand. Pinocchio is a classic tale of following your dreams, bravery, loyalty and honesty. These are wonderful virtues we all want to help instill in our nieces, nephews, sons and daughters.

Having Disney as a sponsor is honestly a wish come true. I am proud that they have selected me as the one to work on this pilot project with them. We all agree that if this works, it's good news for everyone involved. Those who are interested in adding the 70th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray and DVD to their collection of Disney Movie Classics will have been notified. Those who might be able to learn how to leverage social media for sponsorship will have a good case study to watch. And Disney will hopefully be happy too.

So here's the plan. Every time I tweet a 'sponsored' tweet from Disney, I will use #SADisney (SA standing for Savvy Auntie). [UPDATE: I have now changed this to #DisneySA as a reader pointed out before it read: SAD-isney! Not a good idea.] That way, you'll know it. I won't do that when I am back-and-forth in conversation with people about it every time, as that might become cumbersome for everyone. I do not profit from the sale of the Blu-ray or DVDs.

The program begins March 3rd and runs through March 23rd.

If you have any questions, please email me at I'll do my best to answer all of them.

If this works, it's good for social media and all those involved. We're all learning. I'm so happy you're on this journey with me.

Auntie Melanie

*When You Wish Upon a Star is the Academy Award winning song from Pinocchio. And part of my personal philosophy.....


  1. okay, if you're going to be the auntie with the goodies, you've got to earn a living, no?

    Why all the hand wringing?

  2. Congrats Melanie!!! you might want to consider #DisneySA because it reads SAD Disney, but that may just me being silly. Best

  3. HA! Good point! OK I am hereby officially changing it to #DisneySA. Smart readers I have :) - Melanie

  4. Congratulations! This is very exciting, and I'm thrilled to see cutting edge Social Media programs like this gaining acceptance with major brands like Disney - kudos to you for pulling it off in an authentic and honest manner! btw, I'm Tweeting on the KizToys account - just to put a name with a Tweet. :)

  5. What wonderful news! Congrats and let's hope things liek this continue to roll in.

  6. That is AWESOME Melanie! You never fail to amaze me...

  7. Congratulations Melanie!!! That's just wonderful news! Who doesn't love Disney!!!

  8. Woo hoo! Great brand to be aligned with! Make sure to celebrate :)

  9. Very exciting! What a great brand to be associated with!

  10. Sorry, you may be making money but I don't feel I'll get an honest twitter stream from a shill.

  11. Hey, "Anonymous" - maybe we don't feel we'll get an honest conversation from an anonymous commenter. :-0

    A good post to read is by Josh Bernoff, a senior analyst at Forrester, who recently wrote a post about their latest research report:

  12. anonymous - you may disagree with the concept of sponsored content but melanie has been nothing but transparent, honest and authentic about her relationship with disney. in my eyes that makes her posts and tweets credible.

    in addition to scott's reference check out the post by bl ochman

  13. I a so happy for you! Thanks for the disclosure - but we already know you'd be honest in your Twits :) Looking forward to reading them :)

  14. Melanie - Congrat's on the sponsorship. Very well deserved. Keep wishing on the stars. Lynn

  15. Very Awesome!

    I love EVERYTHING Disney!

    I am a follower on twitter now and looking forward to the updates.

  16. That is very cool! I'm glad that they understood the terms you wanted to work under and went with it. So many companies don't seem to get it - but it sounds as though Disney is trying.

    Pinocchio is the first Disney film I remember seeing actually. It was with my grandparents back in the 70's.

  17. This is wonderful. Makes me smile and think of clapping for Tink, except instead of claps it's cheerful tweet, tweet, tweets!


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