Rattled Disney Hires Consultant to Market next 'Pirates'

   Sept. 8, 2010-Fox and Disney endured the worst summer at the box office, which perhaps accounts for Disney hiring an outside marketing executive to guide the fourth installment of the lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean series to cinemas.
   A Hollywood Reporter article reports that Disney contracted for ex-Columbia Pictures marketing exec Valerie Van Galder to oversee Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides that is scheduled for premire May 20, 2011.
   Considering its importance, the move is likely to be perceived in the industry, fairly or not, as a sign that Disney lacks full confidence in marketing chief M. T. Carney, a newcomer to the movie business,” says the article. “Disney has had a tough summer with live-action films, with two of its disappointments – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice -- both produced by Jerry Bruckheimer” who is the biggest independent producer associated with Disney. He's also the Pirates producer.
   Disney swept out its studio's executive corps when installing Rich Ross a year ago and the Kim Masters article in Hollywood Reporter notes that the regime change depleted Disney’s ranks of experienced film marketers on staff. Carney is experienced at using new media for a variety of products and services in her previous work, but lacks film specific experience. Disney is thought of have hired Carney for her track record in cutting down usage of costly TV media to market films by using social media and other emerging digital platforms.
   The article adds that the Sorcerer's Apprentice marketing campaign is viewed as a misfired from its creative built around the key copy line “It’s the coolest job ever” whose earnestness and reference to a job never caught on with the film's the prime youth demographics. The article says that Carney pushed that creative message.
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