By Michelle Graff
A modern-day White Rabbit is the star of Citizen’s first commercial produced in partnership with Disney. True to form, the character is running late throughout the 30-second spot, including for a meeting with Alice and the Mad Hatter.
Orlando—It started with a tea party-style breakfast attended by Citizen and Disney executives, press, influencers and, of course, Alice.

And it all made perfect sense after Citizen debuted the first commercial it’s produced in partnership with The Walt Disney Company at an event in Orlando Wednesday.

The watch brand kicked off the morning with an “Alice in Wonderland”-themed breakfast that also included a drop-in from the White Rabbit and running witty commentary from The Doorknob.

Who are they, you might ask?

Well, The Doorknob held the key, so to speak, to the final, tiny entrance to Wonderland, while White Rabbit is the character whom Alice followed down the rabbit hole that ultimately led her to Wonderland.

The theme of the breakfast played perfectly with Citizen’s Disney debut, which features a white rabbit in a race against time while the White Rabbit’s theme, “I’m Late,” plays in the background.

The 30-second version of the commercial features multiple nods to the original story, including a live-action, modern-day Alice and the rabbit’s being tardy for a showing of “Queen of Hearts” at the Kings Theatre.

WATCH: Citizen Watch’s “I’m Late” commercial

Wednesday’s event in Orlando also gave Citizen the opportunity to showcase its first watches produced in partnership with Disney and to show off the branded clocks stationed around the Magic Kingdom.

Citizen has its name on the iconic clock on Main Street U.S.A.—the foreground for so many shots of Cinderella’s castle— in Orlando and at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as well as on Fastpass clocks on rides like The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad rollercoaster.

Its new watches pay homage to Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday (the mouse made his big-screen debut on Nov. 18, 1928, in “Steamboat Willie”). There are six 40 mm styles and two 29.5 mm watches. They are priced from $295 to $475.

20181116 Citizen Mickey watchOne of the eight styles Citizen produced for Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday. Citizen announced earlier this year that it has inked a 12-year partnership with Disney that allows it to brand clocks at the company’s theme parks and create watches with Disney characters.
Announced earlier this year at Baselworld, the Citizen-Disney partnership comes at a “vital time,” Jeffrey Cohen, president of Citizen Watch America, said during Wednesday’s press conference, as both Disney and Citizen are marking major milestones.

In addition to Citizen’s marking 100 years and Mickey turning 90, Walt Disney World Resort Senior Vice President of Operations Jim McPhee noted that Walt Disney World is approaching its 50th anniversary.

Disney also opened “Pandora—the World of Avatar” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando last spring and is gearing up to open “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” at both Disney World and Disneyland next year, which CEO Robert Iger recently said is the company’s most ambitious project to date.
RELATED CONTENT: Q&A: 10 Questions with Jeffrey Cohen
The new Mickey Mouse watches will be sold online beginning in March.

The new commercial featuring “I’m Late” debuted Thursday during ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Citizen Chief Marketing Officer Ellen Seckler said going forward, 30- and 15-second versions of the ad will run in all the watch brand’s regular time slots, such as during NFL games, as well as in cinemas with Screenvision.

She said the Disney partnership allows them to license one song per year from the company’s vast catalog, and the White Rabbit’s time-themed anthem was an easy choice for their first Disney-centric commercial.

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