FamilyFun plays up Disney connection, launches custom pub division

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FamilyFun magazine is rebranding and launching a line of spin-off products and a custom publishing line in a growth push that is rare for media companies in this economy.

The moms-and-kids-focused monthly will be known as Disney FamilyFun, after its parent company, as of the August issue. The company's magazine publishing division is also changing its name, to Disney FamilyFun Group, all in an effort to make the most of combined brand power of Disney and the 2.1 million-circulation FamilyFun. The magazine will also try to broaden its appeal by adding a new section for preschoolers, “Fun for Little Ones.” Another new section in the magazine, “Disney Fun” will extend the Disney tie-in with special offers and content from Disney.

“After joining the company last summer, I did a really thorough analysis of our assets and opportunities, and it just made a lot of sense to leverage the brand of our parent company, Disney, which is so popular and has incredible equity in the family marketplace,” said Aparna Pande, VP and general manager of the Disney FamilyFun Group. “I certainly hope that being Disney branded will entice more people to try and experience the magazine, and I think they'll love it because the Disney brand is very powerful in that way.”

The Disney logo will now be embedded on all of FamilyFun's consumer marketing efforts. Pande noted that the Disney branding will also make integrated advertising programs with other Disney brands more seamless.

FamilyFun brand extensions, including family cookbooks and special interest publications are slated to roll out later in the year, starting with a magazine focused on Halloween.

Disney FamilyFun Group will also grow its custom publishing division, which soft-launched with the magazine Disney En Familia — a custom project for Disney's multicultural marketing group — last year. Disney En Familia is a full-sized magazine that is direct mailed to 350,000 Hispanic families in the US.

“It's a great example of how to use our talents and assets and speak to moms on behalf of someone else,” Pande said. “We think there's a lot of growth potential to serve marketers and clients who want to connect with families in creative ways.” She added that the custom publishing division planned to serve other internal Disney groups as well as outside clients, and that it was capable of creating printed content as well as multimedia products.

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