Disney Makes Smart Move, Buys Club Penguin

Yesterday’s Advertising Age featured Abbey Klaassen and Andrew Hampp’s article on the new takeover of the ever tween popular Club Penguin by Youth Kingdom royalty, Disney.

Read the article by clicking on the link:

This may be one of Disney’s smartest moves yet, considering its dire need to rejuvenate the Disney reputation since its final high points during my diaper days. Considered to be a classic producer of youth culture, the gradual failings of cinematic popularity and lethargic sales surely must have hit Generation Y in the face–if they cared enough that is.

In any case, Disney coughed out some movie attempts in the past decade, none of which really shone through the Pixar empire or even dared match the success of its more recent accomplishments such as Mulan. Disney tried to market its cell phone for kids, the Disney mobile. Disney tried to bank on its cable channel–which probably works for some of the couch potato junkies aged 5-13–but none of the above has really sold it through to Generation Z, the newest, most technologically connected generation of all.

A classical mouse and all his cohorts just didn’t seem likely to cut it next to the anime craze.

However, this 700 million investment, though pricey for a gaggle of penguins, is pure gold. Club Penguin serves all those teeny tots who cannot access FaceBook or shouldn’t be on MySpace, as well as planting a cute and gender-ambiguous world to frolick in. What child doesn’t want to be an animal and throw snowballs at others? The swanky little island e-club also allows older kids of the forgotten classic Disney generation to sign on and harass the little ones, without seeming too intimidating. After all, you’re not stalker815 on IM, you’re a pink artic bird with a hat.

Club Penguin will surely be Disney’s ticket to packing back some guns on its body. Becoming the Disney Club Penguin will classify the site as well as modernize the corporation. And as for being ad-free, it may be better off staying that way–but Advertising Age has got a point. It’s ironic–but isn’t that how advertising works?


As a highly popular virtual portal into a cartoon world with real-life personalities behind the penguins, Club Penguin not only attracted members with its fun graphics and activities, but also with its fantastic independent label. This buy is good for both Disney and Club Penguin, but it’s also a shame that Club Penguin decided not to continue showing the web world that success can work without being wrapped in red tape.

See the official letter from the founders of Club Penguin on the buy-out:


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