Disney Kicks Off Upfront Season With New Advertising Offerings

Disney took advantage of CES to host its fourth annual Tech and Data Showcase on Wednesday, kicking off the 2024 TV upfront season.

In front of executives from brands, marketers, and advertisers, the House of Mouse debuted a slate of products like new shoppable offerings and the global ability to buy inventory across both Hulu and Disney+. Rita Ferro, president of global advertising at The Walt Disney Company, credited the innovations to the company’s tech stack.

“We had the foresight to design a state-of-the-art tech stack all from the ground up,” Ferro said. “It was created for the modern advertiser to better reach, match and engage streamers. Our tech stack was intentionally built for streaming, to work seamlessly across the global marketplace.”

Shoppable is here

Among the highlights, Disney unveiled its first end-to-end shoppable TV ad experience, Gateway Shop. The platform gives consumers a personalized prompt for products on their second screen without disrupting the viewership experience. The offering is the next evolution of GatewayGo, which currently runs on Hulu.

“Our goal is to create a transactional commerce experience while you’re in your living room without disrupting the content that you’re watching,” Amy Lehman, svp of ad platforms, told Adweek. “We do believe that the second screen experience and bringing that to mobile provides a much better consumer experience.”

Advertisers like Unilever have joined a limited beta, and interactive formats and commerce experiences will continue to evolve over the next few months.

Hulu on Disney+

We knew it was coming, but Hulu on Disney+ is officially arriving in March. Ferro previously shared better-than-expected beta results with Adweek and doubled down on those results during the presentation.

“Since our beta launch began rolling out seamlessly a month ago, engagement with Hulu content in the Disney+ app is beating even our own expectations and continues to grow week-over-week,” said Ferro during the presentation. “Consumers are watching more, both in terms of hours and they’re watching a wider variety of programming.”

Managing campaigns

Giving advertisers more options and control, Disney Campaign Manager, a self-service business that launched in beta in 2021, will now have Disney+ and ESPN inventory available through self-serve domestically this year.

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