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Amid Planned Layoffs, Disney Ran a Super Bowl Ad That Cost Millions

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Disney ran an ad celebrating its 100th anniversary at the Super Bowl on Sunday — and faced criticism from the peanut gallery.

The company “got panned” according to The New York Times Dealbook, for taking out an ad amid layoffs at the company, which will total some 7,000 jobs.

Buying a 30-second commercial to run during the game reportedly cost over $7 million. Considering things like production costs and talent, it can easily go up to $10 million, per The Hollywood Reporter. Disney discussed its ad in a press release on Sunday, saying the commercial “spotlights 100 years of unrivaled storytelling and innovation.”

“As we commemorate our historic 100th anniversary, it is remarkable to look back at Walt Disney’s legacy and his passionate pursuit of excellence that continue to propel the company forward today,” CEO Bob Iger said in the release.

The commercial features stars from more recent times like Mulan, or Rey from the Star Wars franchise, as well as older characters, like Mickey Mouse and Mary Poppins.

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Disney’s layoffs will represent about 3.6% of its workforce, according to Reuters.

In October, Disney said the year-long celebration of its 100th anniversary would begin in January 2023 and will “be the largest cross-company global celebration in the 100-year history of The Walt Disney Company.”

Disney also said its marketing spending has gone up due to the Disney100 celebrations, according to its most recent quarterly earnings report.

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