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Frozen – Why we can’t “Let It Go”

You would have to be living under a snowball to have missed the avalanche that is the marketing machine of Disney’s newest addition to it’s Blockbuster movie list, Frozen.

Released around the world late last year, the box office figures went into overdrive as the story of two sisters, a snowman who likes fire, a goofy reindeer and Kristoff a mountain man raised by trolls hit the big screen to rave reviews. Teamed together with an Oscar winning sound track and an original twist on the cliché’ of ‘true loves kiss’ parents and kids alike adopted the world of ‘Frozen’ as their own.

Disney embraced this Frozen hysteria and got their well-oiled marketing and merchandising team into motion. A version of ‘Let it Go’ was released by Demi Lovato to ensure there was no escaping from the pandemonium and toy stores were promptly flooded with merchandise.

However, the popularity of the film itself is a story all on it’s own. There are several elements that made Disney’s latest jewel in their crown, shine brighter than the others and it all came down to strategic marketing. Even the story line, as novel as it is, was carefully planned to appeal to the masses. The writers drew on the success of Frozen’s predecessors Brave and Tangled and kept with the female protagonists but tweaked up the ‘boy factor’ to help capture the male audience and of course their consumer dollars.

Disney’s planning of this marketing strategy started when the first trailer of Frozen was released showing Olaf, the snowman. The subsequent marketing that followed focused on action and adventure with not a musical note to be heard. Then just before the release, they pulled out the big guns and introduced their future audience to sisters Anna and Elsa and filled our ears with the soundtrack that everyone had secretly been hoping for.

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When the movie finally hit the cinemas, Disney’s audience was educated on all facets of what to expect, or so they thought. The offering of an un-expected storyline emphasizing sisterly love rather than the traditional prince and princess romance, tugged at the heart strings of parents all around the world. Lets face it, parents are the ones forking out the money for the movie tickets, iTunes downloads and Frozen merchandise, if Disney could get them on side, they would laughing all the way to the bank, which they did! The recent release of the DVD in Australia has renewed the love of the movie and seen an army of desperate parents trying to get their hands on sold out Frozen merchandise and costumes.

Frozen is Disney’s 53rd animated feature and has officially become the highest grossing animation film of all time and the sixth highest-grossing film of all time raking in $US1.17 billion world wide. The story although unique to this generation of child cinema-goers was loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairytale, The Snow Queen and was years in the making of writing and re-writing the script to get that perfect all rounded movie experience for every walk of life.

The success of this film is no surprise to Disney and they plan to diversify their ‘Frozen portfolio’ even more so with Disney’s Bob Igor confirming there are plans to make a Broadway production of the film, similar to the Lion King musical. They encourage long shelf life of all their movies, recent or classic with special DVD releases timed throughout the year and have even set up their own Disney Wiki Page and search engine cataloguing all things Disney.

Disney is a great example of what accurate market research and listening to consumers can achieve, after all, that’s where the magic happens!