Speaker Spotlight: Jay Ward, Creative Director of the Cars Franchise #DisneySMMoms

Jay Ward is known to be a man of many talents. He serves as the Creative Director of the Cars franchise, as well as the Cars Legacy Guardian (fancy title!) Jay makes sure no 'human world' items show up in the Cars movies - like handles on gas pumps - and helps to ensure that any products, attractions, character interactions, interactive experiences, and more stay "on model" and true to the film and its characters. We were honored to hear him speak at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration about the Cars Franchise, Pixar, and some of the behind-the-scenes discussions that go into the planning and production of the Cars movies and consumer products.

Jay Ward: Speaker Spotlight #DisneySMMoms

According to Jay, Pixar's storytelling follows a simple formula:

  • Tell a compelling story.
  • Populate the story with good characters.
  • Put the characters in a believable world. (Not necessarily a real world)

Pixar takes the approach of quality over quantity. In fact, Jay even quoted Steve Jobs during his presentation:

Jay Ward said that during the decision process, there are several questions that need to be walked through:

  • Why are we making this?
  • Does it further the Pixar story?
  • Does it grow or enrich the brand?
  • If it doesn't do these things, why are we doing it?

These are all excellent points to take into consideration when taking the next step forward in any business!

As the Cars Legacy Guardian, Jay Ward is involved in the planning and production of all Cars-related products and experiences to ensure that the designs, personalities, language, and other details stay true to the film and characters. From character molds to parades to Disney Resorts, Jay and his team work hard to make sure no detail goes awry. One of my favorite things about the Disney family is the attention to detail, and hearing Jay Ward speak about all that goes into protecting the integrity of the Cars Franchise really made me appreciate the care and attention even more.

I was very interested in hearing more from Jay Ward, but we only had so much time (and many other wonderful speakers!) The Cars movies are some of my favorites, and I'm sure that you will be hearing a bit more about Cars in the near future - so stay tuned!

I paid a fee to attend the 2014 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. As an invited Guest, I received special discounts, complimentary products, and unique experiences. All opinions come from my personal experiences at the event.