ABC Upfronts: Disney rolls out upcoming lineup of programming to advertisers

BySandy Kenyon OTRC logo
Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Disney rolls out upcoming lineup of programming to advertisers
ABC and Disney stars joined the company's top executives at the Javits Center at Upfronts to promote their shows to the nation's advertisers. Sandy Kenyon has the story.

NEW YORK -- Disney's top executives came to the Javits Center on Tuesday to promote the company's platforms and shows to the nation's advertisers.

The goal of Upfronts is to convince them to buy hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of commercials in advance.

It's known as an Upfront presentation because the advertisers are asked to commit to buying commercials up front - and everyone does their best to try to convince them.

Marvel chief Kevin Feige was part of that effort and revealed two new Marvel series for Disney+ and even offered a special look at the second season of "Loki."

The ongoing Hollywood writers' strike meant it was a more muted presentation on Tuesday to more than 3,000 people. But there was no lack of enthusiasm at the gathering.

The Disney properties represented reflect the changing nature of the TV business -- no longer does the ABC network stand alone.

At this gathering, the memorabilia displayed outside and the various logos flashing by in the video presentation showed the range of opportunities available to advertisers.

"There's no better storytelling than the storytelling that comes from across the suite of brands from across the Walt Disney Company," said Rita Ferro.

Ferro is Disney's President of Advertising and Partnerships, and was asked if her job is more difficult now than a few years ago.

"I don't think it's more difficult, I think it's definitely more exciting," Ferro said. "There is so much more to learn. Every day is a new opportunity, a new area of focus for our business.

Disney executives like to remind folks that every story told is an effort to create characters that people can connect to.

And with similar pitches from other companies this week, the idea is to use the company's shows and stars to separate Disney from the rest of the pack.

"The quality of the technology and the platforms that we have have a scale and reach that is unrivaled by anybody else in the business," Ferro said.

Executives like to use the event to make as much news as possible.

"Will Trent" will be back to solve more cases and breakout hit "Not Dead Yet" starring Gina Rodriguez will also return for a second season.

Serena Williams was there for a preview of her new ESPN series "In the Arena," which covers the highs and lows of her long career.

Disney used its presentation to stress the company's commitment to: greater diversity, equity and inclusion -urging buyers to pursue this goal with greater intensity.

Disney is the parent company of this station.