April 14, 2009

Is this really that complicated?

From the New York Times:

Disney Expert Uses Science to Draw Boy Viewers

The Walt Disney Company is relying on the insights of Kelly Peña, or “the kid whisperer,” to help reassert itself as a cultural force among boys.

As a former marketing researcher, I should be all in favor of more marketing research, but still ...

Market research to understand boys is all very fine, but it doesn't get you much closer to actually having shows that boys will think is cool. You wind up with a Powerpoint presentation with bulletpoints like:

- Boys are intrigued by testing boundaries

But shows based on Powerpoints are almost guaranteed to be lame.

To get cool shows, you have to go hire creative 25 or 30 year old guys who still kind of feel like they're 12 and let them come up with stuff that they'd like to watch. They don't need market research because they are their own market.

What marketing research can do is tell you whether the "Disney" trademark is perceived as so girly that boys won't watch stuff with the Disney brand name on it. Maybe they need a new alternative brand name the way Toyota has Lexus: to complement the Hannah Montana-dominated Disney Channel, they could have the Walt Channel.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

46 comments:

Ronduck said...

"The kid whisperer" - LOL!

I wonder of Wall Street had a "bond whisperer".

McVickers said...

Might help to review Disney policies that were in place during WWII because this country and much of the rest of the world is on the cusp of a new 'war cycle' as a component of Kondratieff Wave Theory.

As if The Matriarchy is even dimly aware of K Waves and the cycles of history. Ever hear a woman start a conversation about history? That is rare.

Patrick J. Buchanan is definitely not secretly a woman. We can tell because no woman would ever start a op-ed column with an anecdote about the Battle of Stalingrad.

No; as far as The Matriarchy is concerned it's going to be endless shopping trips at upscale malls from now until forever; and three or four marriages for every woman during her lifetime; and an ever expanding horizon of nail salons and upscale restaurants; and schools books movies and a whole culture where radical feminization of boys is the norm.

Anonymous said...

What they need to do is to license all of Heinlein, Niven, Pournelle, Clancy, Drake and Ringo.

Peter said...

"Disney" was perceived by boys as girly and lame at least as far back as the 1970s when I was a kid. Not so much because it was pro-feminist, but because it just seemed kind of "faggy", as we used to say.

Jeff Burton said...

They already have said brand. It's called Pixar. Every single one of their movies has had a male lead. And not one musical.

That said, Disney's last outing (Bolt) was pretty boy-friendly, even with the presence of ueber-girl Cyrus.

I speak as the father of five boys, so I brook no argument here.

Svigor said...

Dropping the directly opposed goals (appeal to boys; make eunuchs of them) might be a good start.

Anonymous said...

The Matriarchy is better off not worrying its pretty little head about Marxist drivel like Kondratieff Wave Theory (or any other kind of wave theory for that matter).

Saber-Scorpion said...

This is so true it's hilarious. Especially the part about the 25-30year old guys who still feel like 12. I'm one of them, so I should know. And I could make a kickass cartoon.

KlaosOldanburg said...

The problem is that 12yo boys like stuff that is 'inappropriate' for children to like. Jackass, South Park (there's two creative guys who are still 12 inside for ya), Eminem, the UFC, porn.

Imagine being 12yo w/a broadband internet. Even if there's a filter (how many parents really do? how many kids have figured out a work-around?), the unfiltered content is still going to be much more appealing than anything Disney could get away with showing.

--

Patrick J. Buchanan is definitely not secretly a woman. Has there been accusations/debate about this?

Anonymous said...

My sixteen year-old seems to
really have picked up an interest
in the History channel even
though outward appearances would
show hime to be the kind of
laid-back skateboarder type.

I think something with documentaries about history or science (especially the propagandish ones about the space race or Howard Hughes and such) seem to appeal to boys. Throw
in some area 51 schlock and your
set.

To be honest, the scientific content isn't all that important if
it get's the interest going. I think the interface between science (big science) and history is the kind of TV that writes itself.

Arthur Dent said...

What would a Latina livng Mexifornia know about the psychological life of a pre-teen White Male? Not much.

Pre-teen white males should be kept away from the MSN which routinely demonize adult White Males. Have you seen the most recent Verizon where the alpha asian male says to the technlogically incompetent White Male:"You can to the right place"

Disney-gay day once a month at Disney-is cultutally degenerate.

Hanna Montanna is a year or two from taking it all off for Playboy....this according to Heff(or is it BIGUS DICKUS). Quite a role model for the future White Motehres of America.

ironrailsironweights said...

I've read that television viewership among adults is predominately female. Sports programming is the one major exception, which is why the fees which ESPN demands from cable and satellite operators are something like 3X those of any other channels.

Peter

Anonymous said...

Here's a radical idea for iSteve readers: Give your boys other heroes than something created by WGA members to sell trinkets and crummy food. Why not draw on your past, and on actual people.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer: they could have the Walt ChannelActually, Walt Jr has taken to calling himself Flynn.

BTW, Ms Peña's problem is that she's at that age where she's starting to get the "rode hard and put away wet" look.

If she wants to hold the boys' attention, then she might try adding a little see-through lace to that t-shirt/blouse thingmabob under her coat.

PS: My little nephew has a crush on Hannah Montana - hope he doesn't take it too hard when she eventually crashes and burns.

Anonymous said...

Me: If she wants to hold the boys' attention, then she might try adding a little see-through lace to that t-shirt/blouse thingmabob under her coat.Or she could just bend over strategically - I loved it when I was a kid, sitting at my desk, and my teachers did that.

malcolm said...

as with putnam's multicultural study, it always amuses me how liberals have to go to such lengths to have some outside 'expert' confirm the common sense their ideology rejects.
The reason is obvious, if they came to the conclusion themselves, that would be 'ist' (racist, sexist, etc)
I don't think there is enough computational and human brain power to calculate the economic burden of bad ideas.

Anonymous said...

When I was 12 in the early 90's, Disney had shows like "Darkwing Duck" and "Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers". They weren't nearly as manly as "G.I. Joe", or "Transformers", which went off the air a few years prior and which I don't think were Disney shows anyways, but at least they had action and slapstick humor, which boys like.

Though I confess to presently being out of touch with Disney shows, I don't know of any currently which come close.

But like you said, it's not that hard. You don't need a focus group to know that boys like watching explosions and people getting hit in the nuts.

Agio said...

The Disney alternate (stealth) brand is , of course, Touchstone...the only two viewer-worthy films they've produced: Open Range and Apocalypto....well, o.k., may be Pirates of the Carribean also

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_released_by_Touchstone_Pictures

Anonymous said...

They should follow the Japanese model and make cartoons about 15-year-old boys placed in the position of having exclusive sexual access to one or more women, some of them real, some of them robots - ala Evangelion, Blue Gender, and all the other shit they've shown on Adult Swim.

David said...

They get a female - Kelly Peña - to design shows for boys. Huh. In that context, she's a PC hire.

A real microcosm of everything that's wrong with our culture. The one person the Canadians in charge of Disney will never hire for her position: a heterosexual white male with masculine attributes that are presented seriously (i.e. not a croc-hunting goofball or a wrestler).

If Kelly the Hispanic-y Expert on Boys doesn't work out, the Canadians might replace her with a male who's homosexual - or with a male Woody Allen wisecracker with wild hair - or with an aforementioned male white goofus/wrestler type - or with Chris Rock (the real preference of the Canadian suits: a cool black guy).

Oh, whom am I kidding? They won't replace Kelly. She's the Kid Whisperer.

And who says women can't lead boys in any role other than the limited one of schoolmarm? Single moms in Section 8 do it every day! (the continuing African-Americanizing of the culture)

Still, my evil "hatethought" suspicion is that the only boys who would respond to a whispering Kelly aren't numerous in the target demographic of 14 and below. And even then, she would have to be a hell of a lot better-looking than Peña.

Stay tuned.

Or better: don't. Kill your TV.

Anonymous said...

Thats an insightful comment about the genesis of kid's cartoon shows, its certainly in line with what I know about that industry. Respect.

Anonymous said...

So the "Kid Wisperer" Sue Pena has no children nor related academic training yet brings to bear the laser clarity logic of a journo degree.

What an appropriate "expert" for the NYT to cite on the marketing psychology of young boys.

testing99 said...

More evidence on the feminization of America, and in particular TV which is a gay/female ghetto.

The real story behind this is Disney is hurting. It depended on extorting an enormous sum from parents of tween girls who wanted to the "twirliest princess" in an Isteve classic, ever. Hannah Montana and all that.

One problem: in a recession twirly princess dream spending is the first to go.

Disney built an empire on tween girls, and it is now crumbling like all the other gay-female entertainment empires built in the disposable income 1990's.

It really is the end of the 1990's. Which hung on for twenty years nearly.

Boys really ARE under-served in entertainment, whoever gets it going first will win big in the marketplace.

It won't be Disney. A Hispanic, yuppified Market Research Woman won't ever figure out what boys like.

More evidence of how stupid the Yuppie class is, and how gay-female dominated it really is. Even when there is money on the table, they can't bend over and pick it up.

OT: Steve, have you seen Janet Napolitano's new report labeling you and your readers "Terrorists?"

This is what voting for Obama gets you. Just as I predicted.

Anonymous said...

Shut the fuck up McVickers, I'm a woman and I've forgotten more about the battle of Stalingrad than Pat Buchanan can dream of knowing.

Anonymous said...

The irony is, the '30s and '40s-era Disney short subject cartoons were almost as surreal and anarchic as their Looney Tunes and Tex Avery MGM competitors. It really wasn't until the late '50s that Disney became synonymous with 'lame' (or 'faggy').

Peter said...

Boys really ARE under-served in entertainment, whoever gets it going first will win big in the marketplace.I disagree. Boys have video games. Almost any male under the age of 20, and many over 20, prefers playing video games to watching movies or TV shows.

Anonymous said...

Anyone serving the mainstream hetero male audiences with approaches of the past would suffer the same fate as Mel Gibson who panders to mainstream Christianity and male themes. That Gibson made lots of money doing so makes him all the more of an outcast.

691 said...

It seems that Disney is overthinking the problem. As I see it, there used to plenty of TV programs that appealed to boys (Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, even Looney Tunes). Then they realized this was shutting out girls and so they made female-oriented shows. Now they need to grab boys and think they have to reinvent the wheel (as in the Blue's Clues, Sesame Street discussion in Tipping Point). It never occurs to them that they can just go back to what they used to do.

Anonymous said...

The Disney channel is like slut training combined with diversity propaganda aimed at girls under the age of 12. It's pretty sick actually.

Grizzlie Antagonist said...

-----Shut the fuck up McVickers, I'm a woman and I've forgotten more about the battle of Stalingrad than Pat Buchanan can dream of knowing.-----


What sort of "woman" uses that language?

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure that one out.

Grizzlie Antagonist said...

If Pat Buchanan is not secretly a woman, Peggie Noonan is not secretly a man.

Peggy Noonan is the world's oldest valedictorian, and a column of hers never fails to dish out a lot of touchy-feely empathetic pap that masquerades as conservative thought.

A Peggie Noonan column is sure to crystallize my hatred of .....er, that is to say, it's sure to crystallize my hatred of the Matriarchy.

Of course, Bob Shrum is the Peggie Noonan of the Left. SCHRUM might secretly -- or not secretly -- be a woman.

Anonymous said...

What sort of "woman" uses that language?THE KIND OF WOMAN FROM WHOSE WOMB YOU CAN EXPECT YOUR DOOM

See, I could write TV shows to appeal to boys. I'm kinda busy homeschooling though. If only I felt ok parking my spawn in front of the TV I don't have.

Lucius Vorenus said...

The Disney Channel's problem is that there are no longer any actors in Hollyweird like Fess Parker: 6'5" tall, football player, United States Marine, Longhorn, entrepreneur, married [now] to the same woman for almost 50 years - yeah, a resume like that is gonna get you a whole plethora of callbacks in 21st-Century Hollyweird.

Heck, in this day and age, Disney wouldn't even gamble on someone with the testosterone of a Kurt Russell [to whom we owe thanks for the entire Stargate franchise - about the only entertainment on all of television now which is appropriate for boys].

PS: God I miss the coonskin cap days of my youth...

PPS: Look at what I just found on Youtube - isn't that William Holden introducing the clip?

If there are any old-timers on this board - what was it like when Republicans like Holden and Parker could find regular work in Hollywood?

Just the act of trying to imagine it now is almost surrealistic.

PPPS: Read the comments after that Youtube clip - seems I'm not the only one who realizes this nation was once a better place, with a better culture and a better outlook on life.

God in Heaven I hate what The Left has done to our country.

testing99 said...

It' ain't the Left Lucious.

It's women and gays. Who together wield disproportionate influence on culture because women are assumed by sponsors to do most of the purchasing.

Every time you see ads denigrating White Men, who are kind of doofy-beta, remember it's made to appeal to women.

It's what Kay Hymnowitz dubbed "the New Girl Order" and consumerist status games are at the heart of it.

Neither of us like it, but let's be honest -- it's neither left nor right but demographic and female.

Proctor and Gamble doesn't care about PC, only bottom lines, and that comes through both working with the female-gay entertainment stranglehold and the perception that only female consumers really matter.

Anonymous said...

I'm only twenty two (so not 25-30) but the answer is the kind of cartoons they made in the eighties and still in the ninties.

The one's with the rawk soundtrack and the big robots and shit, but without too much overt Japanimation. It just seems at the moment that it's the Japs that make much of the more action packed cartoons.

By the way SaberScorpion your psudonym is a great name for a cartoon.

"When I was 12 in the early 90's, Disney had shows like "Darkwing Duck" and "Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers". They weren't nearly as manly as "G.I. Joe", or "Transformers", which went off the air a few years prior and which I don't think were Disney shows anyways, but at least they had action and slapstick humor, which boys like. "

Do they not repeat older television programs on children's television in America?

When I was growing up in the early ninties most of the cartoons I watched were of eighties vintage like the Transformers. Of course they were stil selling Transformers toys in the shops and I had a lot of them. Don't forget with boys the cartoon IS the advertisment.

Sky and Cartoon Network used to get it right when I was growing up.

Toadal said...

Disney executives unfortunately still haven't realized that television today has become a bottom-feeding, feminizing, ghetto. The only programming my son and I have watched with any consistency in the last three years is the Discovery Channel. Most commercial programming when not a form of crime drama is designed for the < 90 IQ crowd.

On a related subject, last Saturday Michael Blowhard's Sex Linkage referred to a women-only TV company owners confession on the relationship between raging estrogen and the myth of Sisterhood. She writes how surging hormones poisoned her businesses atmosphere and why successful 'Women' businesses desperately seek males. A relationship I always suspected, but the MSM could never report.

Lucius Vorenus said...

T99 - your position [rather consistently, for about as long as I can remember] seems to be that there aren't ANY good women left.

Do you honestly believe that?

Now you just mentioned Kay Hymowitz - so there's at least one woman who is trying to fight the good fight, right?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but T99 doesn't want to sleep with Kay Hymowitz, so she doesn't count. The Strike-Out King of Long Island maintains that there are no good women left.

Studly de la Groin said...

Thanks for the link that reveals the awful truth about catty all-female offices run by incompetent female management. It is must reading for Matriarchy Theorists. Is it a preview of a Hilary Clinton White House? Is it her State Department office today? You decide.

Repost: Catfights over handbags and tears in the toiletsAmusing comment thread after the article also.

Anonymous said...

There is a secret club of ladies who read Steve Sailer and discuss which of the regular commenters we like best, and t99 is our favorite.

Testy the Strike-Out King said...

"There is a secret club of ladies who read Steve Sailer and discuss which of the regular commenters we like best, and t99 is our favorite."

Worthless w/o pics.

Anonymous said...

"There is a secret club of ladies who read Steve Sailer and discuss which of the regular commenters we like best, and t99 is our favorite."

No there's not, you fat ugly liar. Everyone who reads SS is an ugly beta male nerd.

Lucille said...

Everyone who reads SS is an ugly beta male nerd."Nerd", sure, in some respects. But male? Not at all.

Ronduck said...

The Disney channel is like slut training combined with diversity propaganda aimed at girls under the age of 12. It's pretty sick actually.They want to make America Brazil. Producing TV shows that depict the future they want and portray it as cool to young, impressionable girls is their current strategy. If the girls don't go for Blacks at least the producers can hope they give birth out of wedlock.

Anonymous said...

No there's not, you fat ugly liar. Everyone who reads SS is an ugly beta male nerd.You're just mad that you never got invited.

s_baghaii said...

Does Cars not count because it came out of Pixar? Was Wall-E overly girly? Sure, Disney has all their princesses, but they have other stuff too.