Disney flutters fairies to Canada Blooms

A first-time partnership with the largest horticultural festival in Canada is an exercise in experiential marketing that allows Tinker Bell to cast magic in a way not possible with traditional media, the brand says.

Pixie Hollow, a magical world where Disney fairies live, is coming to Toronto for the annual week-long Canada Blooms festival, the largest flower and garden event in the country.

It’s the first time Disney’s Fairies franchise, which launched about two years ago, is taking on an experiential marketing approach that will allow the brand to bring the story of Tinker Bell and her four friends to life, says Janice Lau-Pearson, manager, national marketing, Disney Consumer Products Canada.

Tinker Bell’s gardens, an area about 50 square metres, will be separated into four sections – one for each season – with each protected by one of Tinker Bell’s friends. Mini fairies are hidden among the flowers, and a ‘Tinkering Around’ section will also feature games and a theatre that plays Fairies DVDs, for when parents want to take a break.

‘This is unique to the franchise where there’s opportunity that we can leverage and really extend experience at a local level,’ Lau-Pearson says. Canada Blooms attracts more than 75,000 people per year, and this year will occur during March break, which means lots of kids are expected to be in attendance. The festival is promoted through advertisements on CTV Ontario, A channel and Citytv.

‘At Disney we always look for ways to tell the story and a lot of the traditional media won’t allow us to do so,’ Lau-Pearson says. ‘Whereas an experience like this is a bit of a grassroots approach. But it does marry up to our strategy perfectly in the sense that the storytelling can come through the experience.’

That strategy includes promoting a Tinker Bell movie per year, which this fall will be Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, through TV, OOH and print, says Lau-Pearson. Other products include dolls and clothing, which also require retail partnerships. Traditional media for Disney’s home and entertainment division is handled by Starcom.

However, the Canada Blooms festival was handled directly with the brand, after they were approached by Citytv’s Breakfast Television host Frank ‘Flowers’ Ferragine, who will promote the event and partnership on his morning talk show.