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Thanks to Covid-19, striking partnerships isn’t what it used to be. After months of mutual interest and admiration, Disney Advertising Sales and Translation have now made their multi-year relationship official.

It was no secret to the dozens of brands that Disney Advertising Sales and Translation pitched during CES that a partnership was on the way. After a months’ long pandemic-induced pause, the two partners have finally made it official with today’s strategic, multi-year relationship announcement.

At the core of the partnership is further, direct collaboration between Disney’s branded content studio and creative agency, Creative Works, and Translation. The 15-year-old Translation is an independent agency “built to help ambitious brands harness the power of culture to solve their biggest challenges.”

Together, Disney and Translation aspire to “offer clients and marketers a path to identify, activate and scale cultural insights to create non-traditional and innovative branded entertainment, anchored in Disney content.”

The two entities successfully teamed together, earlier this year, to create the much-applauded State Farm deep fake ad. It ran during The Last Dance on Disney-owned ESPN.

 
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Translation founder Steve Stoute says the conversations, which began last fall, “were magic. If you take Disney’s scale and creativity and you take our focus on culture and diversity as a theme in which all of work is created from, that’s when you have the opportunity to do something seismic.”

Rita Ferro, president, Disney Advertising Sales and Partnerships says she looks to Nike for inspiration and views the partnership about connecting with all audiences. “Because I have a 15-year old, I got it right away when Steve said, 'a 15-year-old in Greenwich, Conn. and Compton wan the same thing, listen to the same music and wear the same sneakers'.”

According to Ferro, CMOs agree. After having worked through the holidays to prep their presentation. Ferro says, “when you leave every meeting at CES and everyone is like I want to follow up, you know it makes sense.” Meetings ran the gamut from lead marketers at auto, banking, beverage and consumer packaged goods companies. Today, after months of waiting, it is full steam ahead.

To hear about the partnership in their own words, here is the full joint letter that Ferro and Stoute issued:

It’s time: what’s possible when culture and innovation collide 

There have been many times in history when one person has stood up to inspire change, but the path to changing hearts and minds is not an overnight process. Ask anyone who has been on the front lines of change – it’s not an easy path forward and you need to create meaningful partnerships to navigate those twists and turns and inevitable bumps in the road.  

That need to partner couldn’t be more relevant today as we continue to answer the widespread calls for diversity and more equal representation in every sector of the entertainment business. 

How can we redefine our approach to business by identifying like-minded partners whose work complements that of our existing team – and how together, we might see the future through a new lens, one that fuels creative excellence, innovation and inspiration?

How can we create a better dialogue that better serves the underserved – specifically the BIPOC community: Black, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic and Latinx people who make up almost 40% of the US population but account for only 5% of total media revenue?

It’s for these reasons that Disney, a company with more cultural capital than any other in the world, has aligned with Translation, an advertising leader fluent in how culture impacts brands, to empower our industry to think differently and engage in a new dialogue. It’s why, after more than six months of collaboration, Translation and Disney Advertising Sales chose to unite and reimagine what growing our connection with diverse audiences can mean for advertising and marketing clients.

Disney does more than just sit at the intersection of culture and innovation – we create it and our Platform is built on it. It is our values and our world-class storytelling – storytelling that reaches 284M people every month – that is at the core of this initiative to connect our consumers with brands with even more relevancy and authenticity. 

With customized solutions that appeal to and respect a more diverse audience, we can turn a lack of results on its head and into a return on investment in a way that no other partnership can. We understand that diverse communities have more influence, more cultural impact and make more of an economic contribution than ever before. This presents a huge opportunity for brands and it is our goal to share our insights, push the boundaries of marketing and advertising and genuinely engage consumers whose loyalty runs deep and have an incredible desire to connect with brands that speak to their passions.

Translation believes that the most powerful force for creating financial capital is by creating cultural capital – Disney has cultural capital embedded in its DNA. Together, our plan is to steer brands through this new normal and onto a new future: one that is more inclusive and more diverse and sheds a much needed light on how respect and understanding for culture can bring us all closer together – and how we can not only create opportunities for all of us to do well, but maybe more importantly, do some good – for both our industry and the world.