Astral to rebrand Playhouse as Disney Junior

The campaign for the new kids net to kick off in April and run throughout the summer.

Astral Media will rebrand specialty channel Disney Playhouse as Disney Junior for cable subscribers on May 6. To hype the transformation, the company will kick off a cross-platform campaign nationwide a month earlier.

Conceived in-house in conjunction with creative elements from Disney Channel in the United States and media purchased through Media Experts, the campaign aims to create awareness among moms with preschool-aged children for the channel and the Peter Pan-inspired series Jake and The Never Land Pirates, a spokesperson for Astral tells MiC.

In April, ads featuring well-known Disney characters will begin appearing online, on transit shelters across the Greater Toronto Area and in newspapers and magazines. Radio ads will also air nationally on French and English stations and focus on Jake and The Never Land Pirates, billed as a ‘music-filled interactive treasure hunt’ that will feature the voices of Tori Spelling, Adam West and Lisa Loeb, among others.

Disney Junior will be commercial-free, airing a mix of first-run and classic Disney programming. Other shows set to air on the network include the short-form series A Poem Is…, which will feature clips from classic Disney animation set to poetry read by Jennifer Garner and Katie Holmes; the healthy lifestyle-themed Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps; and original Canadian series Franny’s Feet, The Secret World of Benjamin Bear and Stella and Sam.

In Quebec, the channel’s French-language counterpart Playhouse Disney Télé will also rebrand as Disney Junior on May 6. It will also be available through Disney Junior OnDemand and Disney Junior Online.