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Brett Dicker, Longtime Disney Marketing Exec, Dies at 63

Brett Dicker Headshot - P 2013
Courtesy of Walt Disney Co.

He revolutionized the way national promotions were used in campaigns while at the company from 1987 until his retirement in 2010.

Brett Dicker, who spent almost a quarter-century in marketing at the Walt Disney Co. before retiring in 2010, died Tuesday of heart failure at his home in Woodland Hills. He was 63.

Dicker most recently held the post of executive vp marketing for Walt Disney Studios. He was involved in all aspects of developing and implementing marketing campaigns and strategies for animated and live-action motion pictures released under the Walt Disney, Touchstone and Pixar Animation Studios banners. His areas of responsibility included publicity, promotions and advertising.

“All of us in the industry who knew and worked with Brett have lost a great friend and beloved colleague,” former Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook said in a statement. “In addition to being one of the nicest guys on the planet, he played an important role in revolutionizing the way national promotions were used in marketing campaigns for major motion picture releases.

“From his key negotiating role in the historic 10-year alliance with McDonald’s in 1997, to other key strategic partnerships with major national companies over the years, Brett was a dynamic and innovative force who was respected by all his peers."

Dicker began his association with the company in 1987 as director of promotions for Walt Disney Pictures. Two years later, he was upped to vp promotions for Buena Vista Pictures Marketing, where he oversaw and coordinated all field promotional activities for Disney's regional agencies.

In 2000, he was named senior vp worldwide promotions for Disney Studios, and the following year he was promoted to executive vp marketing for Buena Vista Pictures.

Among the major animated blockbusters that he was involved in marketing were such titles as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo. His live-action successes include the National Treasure films, Armageddon, The Rock, Pearl Harbor, Remember the Titans and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Dicker was born in Brooklyn on Nov. 28, 1949. He launched his career in the entertainment industry with marketing and promotional roles at United Artists and MGM before joining Disney in 1987.

Among his more notable assignments during that time, he served as foreign publicity coordinator for Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979).

Survivors include his son Matthew, daughter Katharine, sister Tracey, brother Devon and father Mace. His wife of 27 years, Jody, died in 2010. 

A memorial service, open to the public, will be held at 5 p.m. Friday at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations can be made in his name to the National Kidney Foundation.