Disney To Expand On-Screen Commerce Ad Opportunities

Jeremy Helfand Disney Ad Sales
Jeremy Helfand at Disney's Tech & Data Showcase

Disney Advertising Sales is expanding the on-screen commerce opportunities available to advertisers.

Disney calls its on-screen shopping product Gateway Go. Speaking at Disney’s Technology and Data Showcase Thursday, Jeremy Helfand, senior VP ad platforms at Disney Ad Sales, said Gateway Go is being rolled out across movies and live programming.

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“The time is right to take commerce to the next level. No one in TV has gotten commerce right. We will,” he said.

The pandemic has pushed people to watch more movies on the small screen.

“We want to help you reach those cinema loves. And, for the first time, we’re bringing new opportunities to film, without disrupting the viewer’s storytelling journey,” Helfand said.

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One execution recalls the “Let’s all go to the lobby” jingle that used to play in movie theaters to encourage viewers to buy and consume snacks and other concessions at home.

A “Know Your Movies!” trivia format is also available. Viewers can either play against the friends and family they’re watching with in person, or against other viewers via their remote control. Advertisers can also offer discounts and rewards.

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Helfand said Disney will also be introducing its interactive ad products on ESPN.

“Imagine as an advertiser having your product digitally placed inside a live game tied to a commerce driven experience for fans. That’s going to be possible,” he said.

Disney expects commerce through the TV to pick up steam. Helfand pointed to research showing that 71% of viewers seek information on second screen while watching the big TV, 35% actively purchase from the living room and 82% of direct-to-consumer shoppers take action when seeing an ad on streaming. 

In the last year Disney 70 advertisers have activated Gateway Go,  Helfand said. 

One, Smile Direct used Gateway and Disney put together a measurement plan to connect upper funnel awareness metrics with lower funnel activity. The campaign increase brand favorability by 150% and consideration by 67%.■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.