Toon Disney became Disney XD Fri, all part of a rebrand intended to draw more tween boys to the channel. But we had to wonder if the Disney brand conjures up images of princesses, Mickey Mouse and Hannah Montana. Those aren’t exactly the kind of things most 11-year-old boys want to be associated with. But Disney Channels Worldwide pres Rich Ross assured us that the net purposefully put the Disney name first and foremost in the new moniker
“The parks have huge boy affinity and movies like “Pirates (of the Caribbean)” and “Cars” and a lot of the products over time. It’s never an issue,” Ross tells us. “We know with Disney Channel we certainly skew more girl than boy, but its preschool block, ‘Playhouse Disney,’ is 50/50.
So part of the idea behind XD is that when boys outgrow Playhouse Disney, they’ll have a complementary branded Disney Channel for them.
“And while we think this new brand will track boys, we’re never exclusionary from girls as 40% of our audience at Disney Channel are boys,” Ross said.
Disney XD is off to a strong start with its 1st original series, “Aaron Stone,” drawing 303K kids 6-13, driven by boys 6-14 (232K). The new net reached 6.5mln unduplicated total viewers in its Fri launch.