What’s Black, White & Red All Over?: Disney’s Cruella
On May 28, 2021, Disney’s Cruella is being released to the public where viewers can buy tickets in theatres or subscribe and stream from the Disney+ platform. The comedy/crime film is a spin-off of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians that exploits the villain of the film, Cruella de Vil. The overall social strategy for the film includes promotional efforts and engaging content that will be distributed throughout three phases over a span of about 90 days: a Pre-Event, Main Event, and Post-Event. The strategy is for viewers to be enticed through an aesthetically pleasing social presence which will encourage them to watch the movie in theatres and/or purchase the Disney+ Premier Access subscription. The social strategy and overall branding will be black, white, and red all over, to match the main character of the film and to create a cohesive look. The young and old will love Disney’s Cruella, and the social strategy will be the reason why.
In order to execute a successful campaign, SMART goals need to be established for each of the three phases. View the SMART goals for campaign below:
- Pre-Event: As of February 2021, there are around 40 million Disney+ subscribers in the United States (Frankel, 2021). Prior to the release of Cruella in the Pre-Event stage which will last 30 days, Disney+ subscriptions in the U.S. will go up 1.5% (600,000 subscriptions). With Disney+ Premier Access subscriptions costing around $30 to purchase, this will equate to around $18 million in revenue.
- Main Event: Raya and the Last Dragon, a recent film from Disney, generated about 15.8 million domestically within the first ten days of its release to theatres and Disney+ (Rubin, 2021). Similarly, Cruella is being released to both theatres and Disney+ on May 28. Compared to the release date of Raya and the Last Dragon (March 5), it’s likely that more theatres around the country will be open thanks to the increase in vaccine rates. With this information, the goal for Cruella is to generate over $30 million in revenue domestically, from Disney+ and theatre ticket sales combined.
- Post-Event: The main event will last for 30 days and the post-event will be considered the month following the main event. During this time, Cruella will have a 10% increase in streams on Disney+. Additionally, the Cruella soundtrack on Apple Music and Spotify will generate over 10 million streams during the post-event.
Platforms. In order to effectively produce the campaign and promote the film, multiple social media platforms will need to be utilized. The three platforms that the campaign will prioritize are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. A larger emphasis will be put on Instagram and Facebook, and additional efforts will be posted to Twitter. Each of these platforms are among the most popular in the United States and world, and appeal to the variety of demographics that the campaign is targeted towards. They each also provide multiple features that allow the campaign to post pictures and videos, engage with viewers through interactive features, and retrieve analytics that can serve the campaign well. The platforms also allow users to view external links and shop, which the campaign will definitely need.
Target Market. Although the three platforms are similar in reasoning as to why the campaign will benefit from them, the target audiences of each platform differ. Instagram is intended to appeal to the viewers in the 15–25 age range. This same age group is notorious for viewing the Instagram app multiple times in a day, so using this platform to appeal to young adults will gain their attention efficiently and will be most beneficial. As of January 2021, it was found that 9.6 percent of global active Facebook users were women between the ages of 18 and 24 years, and male users between the ages of 25 and 34 years constituted the biggest demographic group of Facebook users (Tankovksa, January 2021). With that being said, Facebook will be used throughout the campaign as a means to target the potential viewers in the 25–35 year range. In February 2021, it was found that 42 percent of adults in the United States aged between 18 and 29 years used Twitter. This age group was the microblogging service’s biggest audience in the United States, followed by a 27 percent usage reach among 30 to 49-year-olds (Tankovska, April 202). To emphasize what was mentioned earlier, Twitter will not be the main focus during the campaign but the posts on the platform will be add-ons and will appeal to both 18–29 and 30–49 age groups. Most of the content on Twitter will be visuals (photos and videos), and will be similar to the content posted to Instagram and Facebook. The goal of the campaign is to appeal to a variety of viewers; The social strategy in promoting Cruella should attract millennials and adults who grew up watching 101 Dalmatians, while also appealing to Generation Z.
Voice. The brand voice and tone for the campaign will be confident, witty, strong, humorous, formal, and assertive. These attributes are similar to Emma Stone’s character in Cruella as she is expected to have multiple sides to her. Because the film is rated PG-13, it’s important that the brand voice accurately reflects that. The movie will appeal to both young adults and older generations, and the social media campaign should do the same.
Hashtags. Throughout the campaign, different hashtags will be used across all platforms. A constant that can be used for any type of content is #DisneysCruella. It’s simple but to the point. This hashtag can be used on almost every post on every platform. This hashtag will encourage audience members to also use it and create a buzz about the film. A series that will be shared through social media content that includes a hashtag is called #CruellaIs. This hashtag will introduce the different sides of the main character and of the film. The content it will reside with will reveal the multiple personalities of Cruella de Vil and will be accompanied with an explanation. More detail on the hashtag and an example will be explained in the Pre-Event and Post-Event section later in this analysis. The final hashtag that the campaign will use will be associated with the partnership that will be explained later in this analysis. The hashtag will be #KVDxCruella and will be associated with posts that promote that partnership and what Cruella’s relationship to Kat Von D makeup is.
Partnerships. Disney’s Cruella will partner with KVD, the makeup brand created by Kat Von D, to release a makeup palette. The makeup company is a good partner because it aligns with the brand voice and tone of the campaign; Kat Von D is a very strong and confident woman. The makeup palette will be called “The Future” and will include black, white, and grey eyeshadow, along with blush and bright red lipstick. These colors fit with the branding of Cruella and the social media campaign, and are also similar to KVD’s brand and other items the company has sold before. The goal is to sell the Cruella products during the pre-event and main event to help spread awareness on the film and generate additional revenue. In an ideal world, major makeup and lifestyle influencers would reference the KVD + Cruella collaboration to raise even more awareness. Every social media post publicized by Cruella that references the collaboration and/or makeup palette will include the hashtag #KVDxCruella. This will also encourage any influencers or makeup artists who use the palette and post about it to include the hashtag in their post as well. This is a partnership that the campaign is not necessarily relying on, but will hopefully raise additional awareness and funds to go towards achieving the overarching goals.
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Frankel, D. (2021, February 25). Disney Plus Has Around 40 Million U.S. Subscribers (Report). NextTV. https://www.nexttv.com/news/disney-plus-has-around-40-million-us-subscribers-report.
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Rubin, R. (2021, March 15). Box Office: ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ Repeats №1 With $5.5 Million. Variety. https://variety.com/2021/film/box-office/box-office-raya-last-dragon-tom-jerry-coronavirus-1234930146/.
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