Tinker Bell to Tots: Kill the Lights

You’ve got to hand to the Disney marketing people. If the company is going to do a good deed—and a public service announcement (PSA) featuring Tinker Bell urging the pre-tween set to save energy certainly qualifies as that—it’s going to time it in a way that might boost sales of a new product.

In this case, the new product is the DVD/Blu-ray of “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue,” the Peter Pan prequel. It’s freshly released, and lo and behold the U.S. Department of Energy and the Ad Council are rolling out television, outdoor and web advertising featuring the sprite. The TV spot included with the press release shows Tink turning off lights and electronics, with narration encouraging the use of energy-saving lightbulbs. The ad concludes with a call to “grab a grownup” and visit the Energy Department’s kids page for more information.

image via U.S. Department of Energy/Ad Council

Of course, seeing these PSAs by Disney as strictly a way to increase Tinker Bell’s exposure during a period when kids are beginning to make Christmas gift “suggestions,” well, that’s just one way to look at it—and maybe a tad too cynical. After all, the Disney media blitz, which included Tinker Bell getting a Hollywood star, pretty much ensures she’ll be uppermost in the minds of the 8- to 10-year-old targets, lending the PSAs relevance and persuasive power. In the end, maybe everyone wins.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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