Disney - Meeting Hong Liem in Los Angeles - CoolBrands Around the World in 80 Brands

“Hey, Hong is in Los Angeles as well!” I shout to Anouk, who is on a lounger on the balcony of the hotel, overlooking Santa Monica pier. “He just posted on Facebook saying he’s here for an annual marketing meeting of the Walt Disney Company. I’ll contact him to see whether we can meet up.”

Disney - Meeting Hong Liem - by CoolBrands Around the World in 80 Brands
Disney – Meeting Hong Liem – by CoolBrands Around the World in 80 Brands

Hong Liem, apart from being a Facebook friend, is CMO at Walt Disney in Netherlands and Belgium. We met in 2008 and spoke about the acquisition of Pixar, the Toy Story makers. “One of the most interesting things about this deal,” Hong said at the time, “is that it’s normally the big companies that come in and influence the little companies when they buy them. Here the opposite happened. The Disney way was no longer the only way.”

A few years later Disney bought Marvel, the home of characters like Spider-Man and Iron Man. “It helped us reach more boys and boost the live-action-movie pipeline. The box office results for The Avengers, the first Marvel / Disney release, show a great success.”

“Ding,” says my iPad, notifying me that Hong has answered my message. “Excellent. We’re meeting him this afternoon,” I say to Anouk, who’s still looking over the Pacific Ocean. She answers without getting up: “Where’s the meeting? Downtown Disney District in Anaheim or their studios in Burbank?”

I read the message, and then read it again to see whether I got it right first time. “I don’t understand,” I say. “He wants us to meet in the Port of Los Angeles!?! So, let’s get going.”

One hour later, we’re following the San Diego Freeway southbound. “I’m still wondering why Hong wants to meet us there,” I think out loud. “I would have preferred a meeting at the Downtown Disney District and lunch at the ESPN zone.”

We turn right on Harbor Freeway, which will leads us straight to the port. We take a left and then a right and park our bikes in front of the Cruise Terminal. “Here it is,” I say to Anouk. “This is where we’re meant to meet.” As we walk into the building we see Hong coming straight towards us. “Hi guys, long time no see!. You’re probably wondering why we’re here.

“Let me show you,” Hong says pointing behind him. We follow him through the empty passengers terminal and exit the building dockside. “Here she is,” Hong says pointing at a huge cruise ship just in front of us. “Let me present the ‘Disney Wonder’. I wanted to meet you here to tell you our latest story in the right context.”

© 2012 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands


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Tags: Global Storytelling Campaign, Hong Liem, Hong, Liem, Walt Disney Company Benelux, Anouk Pappers, Maarten Schafer, Around the World in 80 Brands, Around the World, 80 Brands, Around the World in 80 days, CoolBrands Storytelling, Storytelling, Disney, Meeting Disney, Meeting Walt Disney, Meeting Hong Liem, CoolBrands, CoolBrands meeting Disney, Hristina Vasileva, Walt Disney Company


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