Yes, I did cry when I saw all three of these 2019 remakes. Watching Woody worry about Bonnie starting Kindergarten…cried. Hearing Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine and Mena Massound as Aladdin sing “A Whole New World”…cried. Seeing Rafiki holding a photo-real baby Simba up in the air…yep, tears streaming down my face. These movies for sure will make you feel like a kid again, but through all the nostalgia, they can teach us some key branding and marketing lessons.
1: Repurpose Old Content…If It Still Works
The 2019 re-make of the Lion King is pretty much a shot-for-shot remake of the 1994 movie. The live-action Aladdin also follows relatively the same plot. Does your company have old content like blog posts, infographics, or company brochures that are still relevant today? If so, find ways to re-use that content. Update the content to a more modern look and feel, if needed, but keep what worked from before.
2: Add a Twist
For Toy Story, this was adding in new characters like Forky, Ducky, and Bunny. For Aladdin, this was adding a new empowering solo for Princess Jasmine. So how can your business add a twist to your content? You could do this by adding a new key message or introducing new branded materials. You can also try tapping into a current conversation by utilizing trending topics.
3: Utilize New technology
As I already touched upon, Toy Story 4 introduced two new toys, stuffed animals named Ducky and Bunny. With advancements in technology, it is now easier to animate fur. This was nearly impossible 24 years ago when the first Toy Story came out. I’m not going to even pretend that I understand the technology behind the photo-real Lion King. However, the key point here is you should ask yourself, “What technology should my company be using to stay relevant and to elevate the brand?”
4: Know Your Audience
Kids are a target audience for all Disney movies, but it does not stop there. Parents and individuals in their 20s grew up watching the original movies. Toy Story 4, along with all Disney movies, makes jokes and comments that cater to adults. Parents can relate to parenting Bonnie. Bonnie thinks she is done with Kindergarten after just orientation, she tries to take her toys to school and creates a toy out of a fork that she “can’t live without”. These are all actions that parents can probably envision their kids doing. How can you cater to all your target audiences? Think about what platforms and modes of communication can best help you reach all of your target markets. Also, consider the wording of your key messages.
5: Get People Talking
Toy Story 4, The Lion King, and Aladdin utilized multiple communication channels to create buzz (not lightyear) about the movie releases. What can your company create buzz for? This could be a new product release, an event, or an announcement. Utilize paid, earned, and owned media to get your messages heard, and get people talking about your brand.
As you can see, Disney movies are for more than entertainment. Use these tips from your favorite movies, to elevate your business and brand to infinity and beyond. Need help? Turn to us here at Exsel.