Disney’s Cruella: a Social Media Strategy Executive Summary

Photo courtesy of teenvogue.com

Introduction: Disney’s newest live-action movie, Cruella is set to be released simultaneously in theaters and on the Disney+ streaming service with Premier Access on May 28, 2021. The twist on the beloved One Hundred and One Dalmatians classic is highly anticipated after the previous success Disney’s had with previous live-action remakes such as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. Portrayed by Academy Award-winning actress, Emma Stone, the movie will be the origin story for the animated classic villain, Cruella De Vil.

It’s no longer enough to talk to fans and consumers through posters and billboards. Focusing on a social media strategy will help reach more potential viewers and channel more revenue. Since the character already has name recognition, we’ll focus on illuminating how this movie is a different story. Unlike other Disney live-action films, the plot is not a retelling. One of the keys to promoting the film on social will be leaning into the character’s distinguishable appearance and attitude. The overall goal will be getting 15 million Disney+ users to stream the film through Premier Access and one-time buys and increase theater sales by 10% within the first 12 days of the movie’s release (June 9th, 2021). This is in comparison to Disney’s Mulan release where 9 million Disney+ users streamed the film in the first 12 days.

Demographic and platforms: This social media campaign will utilize Instagram and Tik Tok as its primary platforms. While Instagram is tried and true for brand marketing, Tik Tok has begun to prove itself as a viable option as well. Other brands such as Chipotle have seen massive success with Tik Tok campaigns.

Photo from PRnewsire.com

Additionally, these two platforms will be perfect in reaching the campaign’s 18–34 target demographic. Instagram is ruled by the older (25–34) ages in the target audience from while Tik Tok’s primary user range from 18–24-years-old. The target audience will be the ideal candidate for marketing a darker, PG-13 twist on a childhood classic because they are more likely to have recognition and nostalgia of the character.

Voice: The voice of the campaign will channel the Cruella De Vil character; clever and confident. By invoking the tone of the character the hope is that content and ads come off as authentic rather than promotional. However, it’s important to strike a balance as to not overstep Disney’s whimsical and wholesome brand voice.

Hashtags: Having a branded hashtag will be important to track the success of the campaign’s reach. Naturally, #Cruella will be used as it’s the name of the film and easily identifiable. However, including another vanity hashtag that reflects the character’s tone such as #queenofmean will be incorporated in posts as a fun play on hashtags. Hopefully, the vanity hashtag is engaging enough for followers to use. This will also help with collecting user-generated content.

Partnership: It would be a huge miss if the Disney community was not leveraged. That’s why this social media strategy will include partnerships with specific Disney Instagram influencers. Courtney, @colormemagic, will be one of the primary influencers used in this campaign. When working together we’ll have her create a sponsored post where she takes her own twist on the new Cruella De Vil through clothes and makeup like she’s done with previous other iconic Disney characters.

Pre-event Instagram visual:

Captions: “You might think you know her, but you don’t know the full story. Disney’s Cruella in theaters and on Disney+ May 28th #Cruella #queenofmean”

During event Tik Tok visual:

Caption: “It’s almost time for the Queen of Mean to return to screens. What are you waiting for, get your tickets or Premier Access now! #Cruella #queenofmean”

Post-event Instagram visual:

Caption: “Of course Cruella is certified fresh! See what everyone is obsessed with, in theaters and Disney+ now #Cruella #queenofmean”

Conclusion: It’ll be incredibly important to monitor awareness at the beginning of the campaign because if there’s not enough, the film has the potential to flop. If I was in charge of the marketing plan for Cruella, I would ensure that the two KPIs, reach and web traffic, were accessed at least three times during the campaign. Using monitoring and scheduling tools will give the campaign the best chance of being successful in reaching its target audience and driving sales. Overall, if done correctly this social media campaign gives Cruella a shot at becoming the next box office hit.