As a luxury real estate marketing professional if you are thinking of co-marketing with another company, organization or individual be sure to pick partners that have the same demographics and psychographics (values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles).  Otherwise, you will dilute your marketing message, and also confound and confuse your target market.  Here is an example of how two well-known brands created a PR fiasco because they did not follow this important branding principle.

In an effort to attract foot traffic to its flagship store in on Madison Avenue, Barney’s, the luxury retail store, has partnered with Disney to promote high fashion.  There could not be a better example of a co-marketing mismatch both in the demographics and psychographics of their target market.

Disney morphed the bodies of their iconic female characters into size 0 models wearing designer clothes in their Electric Holiday Moving Art exhibit.   Minnie Mouse is now elongated like a runway model. (See pictures).  What were they thinking?

The skinny Minnie and other Disney characters such as Daisy Duck have infuriated some of the public. is raising awareness to the negative effects of shrinking Minnie and Daisy. Here is what they shared:

According to sources cited on the non-profit National Association of Anorexia and Associated Eating Disorders website:

•47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.

• 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.

• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.

• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.

Here is the statement released jointly by Barney’s and Disney:

 “They have deliberately ignored previously released information clearly stating this promotion is a three-minute ‘moving art’ video featuring traditional Minnie Mouse in a dreamlike sequence set in Paris where she briefly walks the runway as a model and then happily awakens as her normal self wearing the very same designer dress from the fashion show.”

To this, replied, “

Girls have enough pressure to be thin; now the beloved Disney mouse of their childhood has to add to the message that the only good body is a tall, size 0 body? Enough already. Let’s give girls a chance to celebrate the actual bodies they have instead hating them for not fitting into a Lanvin dress. Then maybe enough girls will get together and demand dresses that look good on their actual, non-digitally altered bodies and designers will just have to become talented enough to design a dress that looks good on them.”

What do you think about this? 

Avoid PR debacles like this at all costs. Be sure to pick your strategic partners wisely.  Make sure you are aiming for the same target market both from a demographic and psychographic standpoint. 


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