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Disney Signs Up Three New Summer Sponsors

Travel and tourism category advertisers are using Disney Channel and its sister properties to reach decision making kids. Marketers including Best Western, Choice Hotels and film company Kodak have signed up for summer marketing programs around Disney personalities including the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato.

Disney Media Ad Sales Group Executive-V.P. Tricia Wilber, said: "This is interesting because it's the travel category which doesn't typically target kids. In this environment kids are certainly becoming more important in the decision making process."

Best Western is launching a marketing campaign involving Jonas, the Disney original series which features the boyband in a show similar to The Monkeys. Alongside its national TV campaign the hotel chain is also launching a program called "Rock the Road Summer 09," which kicked off this week, part of that involves 15 billboard messages on Jonas on Disney Channel and other shows on Disney XD. Disney Channel does not carry spot advertising but does carry sponsorship.

The Best Western deal also encompasses ABC Kids, Disney Online and Disney Mobile, the mobile app for Disney online. According to a Disney press release, for the week of June 15-21, Jonas was the number one program in the time period for kids aged 6-11 years, with a 5.4 rating and 1.3 million viewers, and was also number one in tweens aged 9-14, the show attracted a 4.5 rating and 1.1 million viewers.

Separately, Choice Hotels which operates Comfort Inns, is the sponsor of Demi Lovato's concert tour. Lovato appears in Disney Channel's Sonny with A Chance, Camp Rock and upcoming movie Princess Protection Program. The deal spans Disney Online, Radio Disney and other properties.

As part of a separate brand extension, Disney Channel is working with Kodak and Disney Cruise Line to create a series of themed cruises during the summer in which guests travel with Disney Channel stars such as Hannah Montana actor Mitchel Musso.