ORLANDO, Fla. — Fish on!
Adults who don’t have children between the ages of 7 and 12 might not know about Phineas and Ferb, the animated Disney duo who on their TV show spend summer vacations creating crazy inventions to the chagrin of their annoying older sister, Candace, while their pet platypus Perry goes unknown by the characters as a secret agent and clandestinely thwarts the bumbling but evil Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz.
The No. 1-rated cartoon on cable TV, with 353 million viewers worldwide, “Phineas and Ferb” is being leveraged to cross-brand the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing campaign. A new spot will start running on Disney channels during the network’s many popular shows, featuring the duo outdoors with some “Fish on” Take Me Fishing messaging.
Disney is leveraging the show’s popularity to lure children outdoors and Take Me Fishing is leveraging the show’s popularity to lure them into fishing. The co-branded spot will run on Disney cable channels.
“We’re No. 2 for gateway activities into nature, after jogging, and how many 6-year olds love jogging?” asked RBFF president Frank Peterson, who explained that although it’s important to keep current boaters and anglers involved in the recreation, it’s also crucial to attract new ones.
Phineas and Ferb are not only being used for their humor, which often appeals nearly as much to parents as it does to kids, in commercials, but also as character draws at events designed to attract new audiences to boating and fishing. One campaign push the RBFF has undertaken is an effort to reach the growing Hispanic population.
Participants at such events get to enter a Reel in the Fun sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Walt Disney World Parks and Resort and that gives Disney an opportunity to gather information about them, says Mike Benn, director of alliance development at Disney.
The events offer photo opportunities for participants and activities such as a casting challenge to familiarize people with the nuts and bolts of angling.
Take Me Fishing branding is displayed throughout areas of the parks that feature fishing and boating activities and the initiative’s URL is the only one that is prominently featured and touted in the parks, Peterson says.
Radio Disney also has been partnering aggressively with Take Me Fishing, particularly in Florida and Texas, the two launch states for the Hispanic campaign. A 60-second spot featuring the voice of Dr. Doofenschmirtz touts the benefits of the water, but also makes audiences laugh.
Radio Disney reaches 31 markets a week and 5.5 million kids between the ages of 6 and 11, as well as 5.4 million kids between 9 and 14. Another tie-in is through Disney apps, such as the game “Where’s My Water?” A free power-up leads to Take Me Fishing websites.
“Oh My Disney” contains fun Disney content curated from blog posts that will introduce audiences to boating and fishing and amplify industry events.
Disney and the RBFF hope the outcomes will include reaching new audiences — youth and Hispanic, for example; increase brand awareness; drive traffic to the Take Me Fishing website; and ultimately prompt more people to go boating and fishing.