Ok, pretty much everyone knows that the ruler of all children’s entertainment is Disney. It goes without saying that they have some of the best films for young audiences in the world, and additionally, some of the most clever and successful marketing strategies of all time.
I have been following on and off the campaign for Disney’s new animated movie, “Tangled” (in theaters November 24!). It was summarized on IMDB.com as [a film about how] the long-haired Princess Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but when she falls in love with a bandit who was passing by she must venture into the outside world for the first time to find him.
I have been particularly interested in this movie’s campaign because, though it isn’t obvious from the IMDB description, it has been completely tailored to the young male audience. I first noticed this when I saw the trailer (below). Notice that the central focus is Flynn, who is the standard “prince” character in the film, rather than the princess.
I was shocked when I first saw this, not only because I am an avid Disney fan and couldn’t bear the excitement of yet another movie coming out, but also because this trailer strays so far away from everything I would have expected from a Disney trailer. The preview opens with a 15-second chase scene, portraying the prince (or, I actually should say, bandit) as “fearless” and “dangerous”. In a video on The Disney Blog, the directors of the film described Flynn as a, “Swashbuckling action hero…different than any other prince ever created.” So why are they making such an attempt to abandon the stereotypical Disney prince who only wants to pursue his perfect princess?
My belief is that they are doing this to attract the young boys who have been neglected by the classic Disney films for…ever. Even within the past few years, Disney has still shown a strong predilection towards showcasing the helpless, love-sick heroine that just can’t seem to find her way home. “Tangled” may turn out to be the same, but by the looks of this trailer, I hope that it will provide us with an unexpected twist on such a familiar story!
Do you think that marketing to a male audience is a smart move for Disney? Why or why not?