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

Jay Ward is 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
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:

Quality is more important than quantity. "Only make the good stuff, and make less of it." - Steve Jobs #DisneySMMoms

β€” Classic Mommy (@Classic_Mommy) April 11, 2014

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!

Ask: Why are we making this? Does it further the story? Does it grow or enrich brand? If not, why are we doing it? - Jay Ward #DisneySMMoms

β€” Classic Mommy (@Classic_Mommy) April 11, 2014

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 am interested in learning more from Jay Ward in the future. The "Cars" movies are some of my family's 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.