Lowe Lintas takes a ride on DisneyQuest

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Walt Disney Co., moving to build its brand beyond tots, awarded the $12 million to $15 million account for its new DisneyQuest urban high-tech entertainment centers to Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, San Francisco.

Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, agency for Walt Disney Resorts & Cruises and Disney.com, previously handled.

Disney so far has built two of the DisneyQuest projects, in Chicago and Orlando. Each is aimed at 12-to-15-year-olds, a somewhat older audience than the traditional Disney customer. The venture also has a following among families and college students.

The four- to five-story DisneyQuest buildings are filled with virtual rides. For example, one attraction is a souped-up 3-D version of Disneyland's popular Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

SNAGS IN PHILADELPHIA

DisneyQuest first opened as a test in 1998 and plans were to roll out the facilities to markets in other major urban centers. However the third facility, in Philadelphia, has hit major development snags and Disney's cost cutting efforts have raised some questions about the concept's future. Still, an undetermined number of new DisneyQuest facilities will roll out in 2001, an executive familiar with the situation said.

The win brings billings at Lowe Lintas' San Francisco office to more than $150 million. Other clients include Eddie Bauer Inc. and Sun Microsystems.

Disney has awarded pieces of its advertising business to a number of shops, most recently handing the Disney Channel to Colby Effler & Partners, Santa Monica, Calif. Its ABC network account was recently pulled in-house from TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, which continues to handle media buying.

Overall, Disney in 1999 spent $715.7 million on advertising, with $214,000 devoted to DisneyQuest, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

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