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Digital Strategies – Disney


Roy O. Disney and Walt Disney are the brothers from Kansas City who founded The Walt Disney studio. The foundations started in 1923, October 16th, as a cartoon studio, with the organization being known as The Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios and with Walt Disney being the main animator for the network. The two brothers formed an alliance after the Laugh-O-Gram Studios, which belonged to Walt, became bankrupt, and thus Walt joined his brother Roy in the Hollywood industry.

The first animation film to be created by Walt was named ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ and was a film about the interaction of the animated creatures and a little girl. Following its rise and the need for expansion, the two brothers partnered with a film distributor, Margaret Winkler, who helped them in the distribution of their new animated film known as ‘Alice.’ The film ‘Alice’ was a comedy series that marked the beginning of the partnership between the Disney brothers and Margaret their distributor. After ‘Alice,’ more films were produced, and the organization was also renamed The Walt Disney Studio after the completion of the construction of their studio in January 1926, which was located on Hyperion Street. After the series, ‘Alice,’ a new cartoon series known as Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, was produced.

However, the cartoon series was not a big success since the contract Walt had for the creation of the same was lost in 1928 February, thus, creating the need for the creation of a new cartoon series. This brought about the invention of Mickey Mouse and the idea of a mouse traveling to California on a train. Initially, the name given to the mouse was Mortimer but was later changed by Lilian Disney, the wife of Walt Disney, to Mickey Mouse, on the basis that the name did not suit its audience nor was it alluring enough. The first series to star the newly invented Mickey Mouse was produced in 1929, November 18th, and was named Steamboat Willie. The difference between all other series previously made and Steamboat Willie was that the series used audio that was well synched to the animation video, making Steamboat Willie the first video with proper audio and, thus, the first cartoon film from The Walt Disney Studio to be an international hit.

Following the success of Steamboat Willie, The Walt Disney Studio managed to produce a series of more equally successful cartoons. One of the significant contributors to this success was the collaboration with Columbia Pictures to produce the cartoon series ‘Silly Symphonies’ in August 1929. After the success of Silly Symphonies, the very famous Mickey Mouse Club was created under the approval of Walt Disney in September 1929, which led to the upgrading of The Walt Disney Studios to a corporation, therefore necessitating the conversion of its name to Walt Disney Productions Limited.

The new Walt Disney Productions Limited was now divided into various divisions, including a real estate investment company, two subsidiaries, a film company named Disney film recording company, an enterprise, and a merchandise section. However, the cartoon films produced by The Walt Disney Productions were all black and white, and with the change in filming and production, there was a need for the production company to upgrade to colored production for the opportunity to remain in the lead in production. Thus, this led to the partnership of The Walt Disney Productions with Technicolor, a company that specialized in creating color in films, with the aim of producing colored cartoon programs.

The first focus was to be on smaller objects such as trees. Therefore, the Walt Disney Production underwent a transition in its partnerships, in terms of the producers of the films, from Powers Celebrity Pictures in 1928-1930 to Columbia Pictures in 1930-1932 and finally United Artists in 1932-1937. (The Walt Disney Studios, 2018). By this time, Mickey Mouse had made its debut and had become quite famous, thus enabling The Walt Disney Productions to produce a feature-length cartoon film.

The feature-length cartoon film was the first of its kind, and it was named Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, whose production began in 1934 and was later released in December 1937. This film became one of the most popular films, along with being one of the most highly-rated films and the most expensive to produce. However, the film brought in equal returns, with high profits as well, which aided the construction of a new studio. The constructed studio was among the most massive studios, as it occupied 51 acres of land and was located in Burbank. The studio built in Burbank, which is in California, was made the headquarters for The Walt Disney Productions and has remained so to date.

Walt Disney then generated the idea to create a recreational park for both parents and children, and for that, he created a cartoon series that would show his intended idea for this park around 1954. The park was then designed, constructed, and opened in 1935 on July 18th by Walt Disney himself. As of now, The Walt Disney Productions Limited has expanded and now are in charge of media networks, parks, and The Walt Disney Studios. (Ingersoll, 2005).

Mission and Vision Statement

Similar to any company or corporation, The Walt Disney Productions Limited has its own mission and vision statement that governs its operations. (Jeyarathmm, 2008). The mission statement states, “the mission is to produce unparalleled entertainment experiences based on the rich legacy of quality and creative content and exceptional storytelling” (Walt Disney, 2011), while the vision statement states, “the vision is to be the world’s premier entertainment company.” (Walt Disney, 2011). The mission statement is driven by the need of The Walt Disney Production Limited to provide services that are top-notch to its customers and to give them the desired comfort, which is exceptional and different from all other entertainment companies. (Ingenhoff, 2010).

Corporate and Social Responsibility

Thus, The Walt Disney Production Limited has expanded its corporation to fit every sector necessary for the including of these experiences. This comprises the parks, the entertainment studio and media networks, and the creation of customer products that would be especially appealing to the children. Furthermore, for its vision to succeed, The Walt Disney Productions has focused on improving and creating better and more convenient products and services for the customers. In addition to this, The Walt Disney Productions has set methods that are in line with their objectives and help them achieve these targets.

Some of these objectives include; creating stories, products, and services that are familiar to every single person worldwide, without any discrimination. Secondly, the corporation aims at implementing the very best there is in technology and ensure the incorporation of new technological advances over time; lastly, the corporation targets to create a market that will be global and therefore reach as many as they possibly can. Finally, the corporation does its best to manage the needs and necessities of the stakeholders and the company at large.

This is done in line with achieving the mission and the vision of the corporation. Those who are majorly involved in the company include; the management board, shareholders, employees, and the customers. This indicates that the value the company holds on its customers is very great for them to be included as part of the shareholders. Putting into consideration the vast field of areas where the corporation is engaged, customer satisfaction has been among its strengths. In addition, the management has a commendable interaction with its employees, as it focuses on instilling skills and knowledge and building them up with information necessary for their job, in line with the changing technology. So far, the corporation has been able to reach its customers fully as its programs and services are accessible from the simplest media devices available, including mobile phones.

Target Market and Challenges

The Walt Disney Productions Limited has restricted its target market to children and teenagers. With most of its programs consisting of animated characters, stories, and musicals, the largest group of individuals likely to be captivated are the young ones. This has been so over the years, and the corporation seems to maintain the status quo. However, the corporation has not undergone a smooth ride even in production. Some of the major challenges the corporation has faced include; piracy and plagiarism of its content, the shift in technological advancements, and competition from other producers.

Despite doing copyright of all content produced, the challenge of piracy and plagiarism has still been a problem for the corporation. Production of stories with similar flow or production of different versions of a film without the direct authorization of the corporation has caused the corporation some losses in sales and authenticity of their stories. The shift in technology is one challenge that has faced many production companies, Walt Disney being one of them. This shift means that the company has to equally shift its means of production in order to fit the trending market. At some point, the corporation might be forced to buy new equipment, upgrade the studio or invest more in their production partners.

The major challenge that comes with this shift is the high cost of this equipment, considering that it might not have been used for a very long period of time. Therefore, from one technological era to another, the cost of shifting might be too high even for the stakeholders. In addition to that, shifting from one production company to the other might also be a challenge to the corporation as a whole. Thus, despite the fact that technological advancements are a positive thing, the cost they may have on the producers and stakeholders might be expensive. (Pratali, 2003).

The risk of not keeping up with these advancements might be a public fallout from the production industry. The other challenge facing The Walt Disney Productions Limited is the competition from other production media. There is an urge for every media production company in the market to keep up with the current trends and the preferences of the customer. For this cause, these companies might push themselves to extremes that may cost them.

Interactive Platforms

The use of social media and other media platforms by The Walt Disney is quite vast. Despite owning their media platforms, The Walt Disney Production also uses some social platforms, such as Instagram, to post some of their shows and posters. The Walt Disney is the owner of various platforms such as National Geographic, ESPN, Disney Chanel, FX, and ABC. Other than being the owners of these well-known media networks, The Walt Disney company are also proud owners of parks, cruise lines, and resorts, which extend to different parts of the world and are in some of the major cities known, such as Paris. These platforms help them interact with the customers. (Pratali, 2003).

Even with these resources, The Walt Disney Production has Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube accounts. Out of these accounts, their Facebook account seems to be the most active account, with the highest number of followers and interactions between the followers and the management. However, it is important to note that the management and the interaction of these social media accounts vary from one platform to the other. (Jeyarathmm, 2008). As stated before, The Walt Disney Productions uses its Instagram account to promote its content majorly. It gives the viewers and customers the opportunity to interact with the packages they offer, like and comment, and give suggestions on what could be done better.

The responses from The Walt Disney Productions in terms of chatting are minimal. However, they do their best to respond by putting into consideration the different suggestions and opinions enlisted by the viewers. This interaction on Instagram is almost similar to the kind of interaction going on on Twitter. The Walt Disney Productions mainly uses its Twitter account for content promotion and to enhance its image, creating public awareness about its shows and offers. Therefore, the Walt Disney Productions don’t engage in messaging their followers or audience on both the Instagram and Twitter accounts. However, there is a provision for a public chat and messaging for the purposes of the public to interact.

The media personnel might pick any concerns raised from these public interactions and address them in the next posts. In most cases, the posts on Instagram and Twitter are the same; from the videos to clips to photos, there is notably very minimal difference or no difference at all with these posts. In regard to Facebook, The Walt Disney Productions tend to create links that might direct people to the subject matter being referred to. This is something that is also done on the Twitter accounts, making it easier for the viewer to access the content in cases where they are not displayed. In most cases, Facebook is not fond of posting either the videos or the photos, and thus the need to create links that viewers can use to access the content, reducing the bulk of what is posted on Facebook.

On Twitter, the only retweets done by The Walt Disney Productions are those from stakeholders such as companies that are in a contract with them or posts from Twitter accounts directly linked to The Walt Disney Productions. In both cases, the responses and retweets made by The Walt Disney Productions are targeted toward improving their content. (Walt Disney, 2011). Despite owning a number of media platforms, the digital strategies used by The Walt Disney Productions rarely involve direct communication between the viewers and customers, only when calls or private messages are written to them. In most cases, the communication on these platforms is mainly used to relay information from the management.

In terms of its financial management, The Walt Disney Production has managed to sustain its cash flow and still earn profit from its production. Therefore, in an analysis of the performance of The Walt Disney Productions during financial years, there has been a consistent increase. Comparing the years 2010 and 2011, for example, there was a 21% increase in the net income to $4.8 billion. Also, in 2011, the corporation saw a similar increase in revenue to $40.9 billion, which was a 7% increase from 2010. (Walt Disney, 2011).

This has been the trend in terms of the financial performance of the corporation. Some of the factors that have contributed to this success include the investment that the corporation has made in its employees to build their skills, giving them proper compensation for their commitment, creating a proper and fair working environment, and thus boosting the spirits of their workers to be more productive, which goes a long way in ensuring the company generates a sustainable income. (Greenhalgh, 2004). However, the company still continues to explore its options in accessing markets that have not yet been accessed in order to boost its financial profits.


To sum up, all that has been stated. From the analysis of most companies, The Walt Disney Production similarly is not fond of doing one-to-one interactions with its viewers and customers on the social media platforms. However, they have found a way of creating opportunities where the fans can socialize, including annual get together and events in the Disney parks and creating opportunities where people could visit their studios, especially children.

It might be important that while drafting methods of improvement of their work in general, and with the aim of promoting themselves, they create a platform where they can directly interact with their viewers and customers. Most people would appreciate it if these major companies would directly reply to their messages and not just post updates on what they have to offer. For some communication companies, there is a team created that manages the responses and comments made by the customers and viewers, and not just the high-end companies. The establishment of a corporation and sustaining its activities throughout those years is definitely not an easy task for any company.

Thus, The Walt Disney Production could be classified as one of the most successful companies in the production industry. However, one of the factors that may improve its success, other than establishing two-way communication between the management and the customers, is to create films and programs that could also be relatable to teenagers and young adults. (Pratali, 2003). This would increase their exposure and expand their niche, making them reachable to a broader group of people and thus increasing their chances of making profits.


Greenhalgh, C. (2004). Building a Strategic Balanced Scorecard. Liverpool: University of Liverpool.

Ingenhoff, D. &. (2010). Positioning and Differentiation by using Brand Personality Attributes: Do Mission and Vision Statements Contribute to Building a Unique Corporate Identity? International Journal of Corporate Communications, 83-101.

Ingersoll, D. S. (2005). Plan Your Walt Disney World Vacation in No time, fast, easy, simple. Seattle: Que Publishing.

Jeyarathmm, M. (2008). Strategic Management. Mumbai: Global Media.

Pratali, P. (2003). Strategic Management of Technological Innovations in the Small to Medium Enterprise. European Journal of Innovation Management, 17-30.

The Walt Disney Studios. (2018). History. California: The Walt Disney Studios.

Walt Dis3500069ney. (2011). Annual Reports. Walt Disney.


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