It was not unusual for Nestle Chocolate & Confections to engrave scenes from Disney's animated film "The Lion King" into the company's "red label" chocolate bar. An open-ended agreement between Nestle USA and Walt Disney Co., signed in January 1993, promises the two companies will work to support each others' brands.
bar license. "Knowing their business as they do, and Nestle knowing the chocolate business so well, it was quite a union."
The original agreement between the two companies involves joint marketing and promotional tie-in opportunities, along with a broad-based licensing provision across several of Nestle's divisions. Disney has committed its film studios, its consumer products division and its theme park attractions to the partnership. Nestle USA's parent company, Nestle S.A., is one of the founding sponsors of EuroDisneyland and a major licensee of Disney abroad.
"When you have a product that is basically an impulse purchase, that bar has to leap off the shelf and scream at you, 'Don't you want me right now?' " says Bowles. "Rarely is anyone in the store at midnight for candy, so we really have to work the aisles and the displays to show ourselves off to our consumer."
With Disney's vast marketing resources behind the film and Nestle's considerable budget promoting the chocolate bar, the product received cross-departmental display activity in stores around the country.
"With the packaging and the colors and the graphics and the promise of the movie, it was enough to make almost every customer across all classes of trade stand up and show an interest in this bar and in displays," she says.
Although Bowles notes that it may be difficult for Nestle to match or surpass the success it achieved with its Lion King chocolate bars, she adds that there will probably be more such licensing agreements in the future between the two companies.