Disney and Teri Hatcher Get Hitched (er, Hatched)


Teri Hatcher’s relationship with Disney is set to continue beyond Desperate Housewives thanks to a new digital partnership.

The actress and former Radio Shack spokeswoman is teaming with ABC’s corporate parent to launch GetHatched.com, a portal for women that’s being produced by the Disney Family group.

The tagline, “A chick’s guide to life,” communicates the project’s goal: to become the go-to Web destination for her “peeps” (moms, working women), as Hatcher writes in her debut blog post.

It’s aimed, she writes, at “women in all of our multi-tasking, chore-juggling, diverse-life role-playing glory. We ARE the force behind everything. We are the caregivers, the nurturers, the lovers, and teachers. We do the laundry, clean the house, feed the pets, drive the carpool, and as if that wasn’t enough of a job, we often bring home the bacon. (And then cook it, too!)”

Of course, Hatcher herself is the draw here, not the content.[more]

It is Teri’s involvement in the site (coupled with the marketing and technical resources of Disney) that will make or break this digital branding initiative.

At launch, GetHatched.com is nowhere near as robust as NBC Universal’s iVillage.com women’s portal (a cross-platform play that drives visitors to NBCU’s cable networks, Oxygen and Bravo), but is built around Hatcher’s engaging personality.

Currently, however, it’s a bit thin on content and community, and feels more like a section of Disney’s website instead of its own, vibrant destination. Surprisingly, it appears to be an end unto itself, and doesn’t cross-promote ABC Family or Disney content (just ABC and Desperate Housewives).

The ageless, chic, 45-year-old Hatcher, who dresses in Dolce & Gabanna and stilettos, also doesn’t look like she cleans or cooks or carpools, except perhaps in character as Susan Mayer on Desperate Housewives, but looks are deceptive – she is, after all, a single mom. So this Web play is as much about polishing Hatcher’s brand as it is Disney’s.

Still, as charming as she is, Teri’s no Oprah, whose website is the glue that binds her sprawling media empire. But, fortunately, she’s not following the Web footsteps of fellow actress Gwyneth Paltrow, whose Goop.com has been critically panned as a vanity project by the Oscar-winner.

So what exactly are Disney and Teri hatching? The portal promises regular features including: “In the House,” a video series featuring Hatcher interviewing celebrity guests such as Mariel Hemingway; “Chick Chat,” another regular feature with women talking about … what women talk about when they get together; “Power to the Peeps,” a blog by Hatcher and others; “What’s Cracking You Up?” a column on celebrities (such as Hatcher’s co-star Eva Longoria) and their ‘funny zone’; and I could go on but I won’t.

There’s also the expected lineup of expert articles on the usual female-skewing topics – home décor, hair, nesting, make-over tips, relationships – and of course, celebrity. Hatcher is certainly an appealing virtual hostess, and the play here is clean and clear; let’s take an ABC/Disney star and create a brand around her and sell it to her fans and advertisers.

Can Disney and Hatcher build on that promise, or is it the wrong promise? Is ‘constant conversation’ enough to draw women away from their real, busy, daily lives and into yet another, online community, albeit a peppy one geared at “chicks” of all ages?

Let us know what you think…if you have the time.


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