No one can forget the poignant moment in Peter Pan when the impish character urges rapt audience members to clap their hands to bring life back to his favorite fairy, Tinker Bell.
Now Disney is hoping that Tinker Bell–along with a collection of pirates and other Disney characters–can help breath life back into its mobile phone services for kids. Beginning in September, Disney plans to roll out a grab bag of goodies for young cell phone users, including a mobile storefront, instant-messaging chat system and virtual world widgets.
The mobile market for children and ‘tweens looks like pure gold to the likes of Disney. For uber-connected 9- to 14-year-olds, who can’t yet drive and might not have their own computers, cell phones are a lifeline to their best friends, favorite music and videos and chosen brands. Market researcher MultiMedia Intelligence says the U.S. had more than 16 million teen mobile subscribers in 2007, up 12% from 2006.
Disney is hardly new to the tricky mobile market for kids. In June 2006, the company became a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, by leasing airwaves from Sprint. The company sells games and ringtones in more than 70 countries, mostly through partnerships with mobile carriers.
Disney is reaching out and you should be aware. Think deeply. ,=
A mobile widget called “Fairy Friend” puts an animated butterfly fairy on users’ phones.. Players will have to feed and care for the fairy on their phones. A mobile game connected to Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean Online virtual world is planned for September or October. Players will engage in short “battles” and earn virtual coins that they can spend online at Disney.com.
Clap your hands–and open your wallets—or make a comment