Dick Van Dyke and Target's Bullseye to Promote 'Mary Poppins'

Target Will Be the Only Retailer Advertising During Dec. 12 Program, Which Will Air on ABC

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Dick Van Dyke and Target's Bullseye bonded over
Dick Van Dyke and Target's Bullseye bonded over Credit: ABC and Target

ABC and Target are pulling a bit of marketing magic out of their magical carpet bag when the brands broadcast "Mary Poppins" as part of the temporary return of The Wonderful World of Disney at 8 p.m. on Dec. 12. The brands will use Hollywood legend Dick Van Dyke, who starred in the film 51 years ago, and Bullseye, the bull terrier Target mascot, to promote the program. Both perform in a series of spots that will air before, during and after the movie. In a first for Disney, the spots are set inside the Disney vault, an archive warehouse.

"It will give audiences a glimpse of what they've never seen before, which is the Disney vault," said Jerry Daniello, senior VP integrated marketing at ABC. "The combination of Dick Van Dyke and Bullseye is truly an entertaining element that'll play out really well on air."

There will be four spots in total, divided from three minutes of video content. One interstitial depicts 89-year-old Mr. Van Dyke looking around the key for the vault door only to see Bullseye arrive with it in his mouth. Viewers will also be able to spot "Easter eggs" or hidden treasures from other well-known and not-so-well known Disney films. ABC expects such items to stimulate heavy social media discussion around the event.

Throughout the film, Target will air all 12 of the spots from its current holiday campaign, "The Holiday Odyssey." The Minneapolis-based retailer will be the only advertiser during the program.

"We know that during the mayhem of the holiday season, it's also important for our guests to pause and create moments with their families," said Kristi Agyilan, senior VP, media and guest engagement at Target. "Target is not only bringing the beloved classic 'Mary Poppins' back to network TV, but we're also sprinkling in some fun surprises for families to enjoy together."

The company expects to incorporate more of Bullseye in its marketing, moving forward. "We love to feature her in our advertising and where we have fun brand moments," said a spokeswoman. "During the holidays, when marketing is a sea of red, Bullseye helps Target stand out."

ABC has no immediate plans to bring back The Wonderful World of Disney franchise long-term, Mr. Daniello said. "We're hoping with success on Dec. 12, there will be a future, and if there is, Target would be a part of that future," he added.

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