Image: Disney / Armadillo

Case Study of the Month | January 2024 | Editor’s pick

“Congratulations to Disney and Armadillo! This is a great example of an effective email marketing programme that has proved the value of first-party data. The creative and fun email marketing programme led to some excellent results, including an impressive 120% increase in incremental revenue compared to the previous year. Bravo!”

— Laurence Bird, Research Director, Econsultancy


Disney worked with digital agency Armadillo to increase engagement, first-party data and revenue across its EMEA portfolio by making its email marketing more dynamic and reflective of its joyful brand values. A new code base was created which allowed users to interact more with email content, for example, by completing crosswords, word searches or games in the main body of the message. Calls to action (CTAs) then directed users to relevant Disney products, services and content. The subsequent increase in first-party data led to deeper insight into audience behavioural segments which optimised cross-selling opportunities across Disney. The 12-month programme contributed to a 120% increase in incremental revenue and a 15% increase in active customers.

Objectives and aims

Based on Disney’s email marketing strategy, Armadillo was briefed to optimise Disney’s email creative, to:

  • Reinvigorate user engagement
  • Increase revenue streams

Implementation, execution and key tactics

User analysis showed that long term customer value was informed by how many Disney product and service categories a user engaged with, and the depth of that engagement. The strategy was to influence both of these levers while collecting actionable customer insights and conveying Disney’s joyful brand values. The email marketing creative needed to be more interactive and drive more clickthroughs by bringing to life the brand’s promise ‘to entertain, inform and inspire people through the power of unparalleled storytelling’.

This led to a 12-month email marketing programme planned around 18 key calendar moments such as film releases, holiday periods and product launches and deployed throughout 13 markets across EMEA. All emails were designed to drive maximum engagement to identify active customers, increase first-party data and progressively optimise the effectiveness of the programme and future communications.

Typically, interactive experiences need tools such as JavaScript, which does not work in emails.Instead, a code base was created by Armadillo to make typical email codes such as HTML and CSS deliver interactive and responsive content more reliably. Users whose email browsers did not support the content were taken to web pages which mirrored the interactive email creative.

For example, the email marketing programme included:

  • A word search to promote the Disney Encanto film
  • ‘Test your Disney knowledge’ emails with an interactive crossword whose final CTA encouraged users to increase their knowledge by watching Disney+
  • A moving Star Destroyer which concealed the email copy and flew up the screen when tapped by the user, reflecting the drama of the Star Wars film franchise, to support the launch of Star Wars prequel series, Andor on Disney +
  • Users having to ‘crack’ the screen before they could access the content of an email promoting the ‘She Hulk’ series on Disney+
  • A Halloween-themed tarot card-inspired interactive game, with users invited to tap cards to reveal spooky Disney characters and relevant streaming CTAs

The increased interaction led to deeper data insights for the creation of audience segments which helped to maximise cross-sell opportunities across Disney’s portfolio.


  • 120% increase in incremental revenue compared to the previous year
  • 15% increase in active customers
  • 38% increase in unique clicks
  • 26% increase in conversion rate