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Quizzes Replace Traditional Ads in Disney Streaming Toy Story Football Game

Allstate is sponsoring a unique streaming event featuring Pixar's "Toy Story" characters during an NFL game, replacing traditional commercials with football trivia questions.

On Sunday, Allstate will be trying something different by sponsoring a unique sporting event that combines Pixar's beloved animated characters with a real-life NFL game. The game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Atlanta Falcons at London's Wembley Stadium will be streamed by Disney+ and ESPN+ in a non-traditional manner. Instead of the usual commercials, fans will be treated to football trivia questions from Allstate during breaks, while Pixar's "Toy Story" characters will mimic the action happening on the field.

According to Dave Marsey, Allstate's senior vice president of media, the goal is to reach the audience that would be interested in such an event, without disrupting the creativity of the content. By incorporating the trivia questions in a "Toy Story" style, complete with clouds and popsicle sticks reminiscent of scenes from the movies, Allstate becomes an integral part of the content itself.

Although trivia questions may seem simple, Allstate and Disney are taking on a complex task. Traditional TV sports telecasts often include numerous commercials, but streaming platforms have different expectations. Viewers are attracted to streaming services because they offer fewer ads. Other companies have also experimented with alternative advertising methods. NBCUniversal's Peacock released a mini-movie last year that included a promotional message within the content itself. Netflix has partnered with major advertisers to create unique promotions and videos around popular shows.

Streaming platforms will need to find alternatives to traditional commercial breaks. Many services that were previously ad-free are now turning to advertising to generate revenue and support the production of new content. For example, Amazon's Prime Video plans to start inserting commercials in movies and series by 2024. The NFL game sponsored by Allstate will only feature the trivia questions, ensuring a seamless viewing experience.

Disney is using this international game as an opportunity to bring different audiences together. On ESPN+, viewers will see familiar sports broadcasters calling the game, while on Disney+, they can enjoy the "Toy Story" characters engaging in game-day antics. The expectation is that families will watch the event, with dedicated sports fans streaming on ESPN+.

The "Toy Story" characters will be involved in the game just like the NFL players, thanks to advanced technology such as next-gen stats, player tracking, and motion-capture. The graphics, scoreboards, and even the announcers will embrace the "Toy Story" theme. Drew Carter and Booger McFarland will provide commentary alongside 12-year-old sports journalist Pepper Persley. Duke Caboom, a character from "Toy Story 4," will attempt a motorcycle jump during halftime. Viewers can also expect "how-to" segments, trivia questions, and pre-recorded interviews with players from both teams.

This innovative approach by Allstate and Disney is likely to inspire other advertisers to experiment with similar techniques. As Dave Marsey puts it, we are currently in the midst of a journey towards a streaming future.

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