The Devil is Back for More Trouble — Disney’s Cruella Social Media Campaign

The Walt Disney Company has been a part of millions of generations of people’s lives, especially through their movies. Disney is releasing Cruella in theaters and on Disney+ on May 28, 2021. According to Disney, the movie is about how Cruella, “…follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs…One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute… But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable, and revenge-bent Cruella”.

YouTube: Disney’s Cruella | Official Trailer

The marketing strategy for this movie has been planned to start 5 weeks before the movie’s release and ends a week after the movie premieres. For this strategy, the platforms that will be used are Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok where there will be different kinds of content that will be created throughout the pre, during, and post event. There are many possible SMART goals that can be reached to achieve success in this campaign. Christina Newberry, a writer for Hootsuite, states that SMART goals are, “…all about creating relevant, achievable goals that help support your overall business objectives. The acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely”. For this campaign, one SMART goal that was set is to measure engagement on all platforms. By measuring engagement, my team can gather our audience’s opinion about the movie before, during, and after it is released on Disney+ and theaters. In the beginning, we will want the overall engagement on all three platforms to be at 20%, then increase to 30% during the campaign, and finally at 40% at the end of the campaign. By having this increase throughout the campaign, it will help with building excitement about the movie as well as gain feedback from our audience. The other metric that we will also be measuring is how many US households viewed the movie from Disney+. The goal would be to have 1 million US households watch the movie from Disney+ within the first week of its release. By measuring both engagement and views of the movie, it will help us learn what the overall thoughts were during the post portion of the campaign by categorizing if they were positive, negative, or neutral.

Cruella’s Target Audience

Facebook: distribution of global audiences 2021, by age and gender

Facebook is one of the original social media platforms and is also a popular platform that is used. This platform is ideal to reach out to parents of young children and anyone who watched the 101 Dalmatians movie previously. The ideal demographic for Facebook to be marketing to is a male between ages 18–44 as well as anyone who has an interest in dogs, Disney villains, a Disney fan, owns a Disney+ and/or another subscription program, or a parent/grandparent that wants to watch the movie with their kids/grandkids. These would be the ideal people to target because these are interests that align with the movie and its theme. Statista’s graph created by H. Tankovska has also provided the distribution of Facebook users worldwide as of January 2021 by age and gender, which shows that the majority of users that are on Facebook are males ages 25–34. Based on their graph, it would be ideal to be marketing mainly towards males that are in the top three age ranges.

Instagram: distribution of global audiences 2021, by age and gender

Instagram is the second platform that would be a great place for Disney+ to be marketing Cruella. It is a great platform that allows the audience to interact with their content, such as polls on Instagram Stories. Instagram has also been updating their app by including more video content, such as Instagram Reels, IGTV and Instagram Live. The ideal demographic that Disney should be marketing towards are both male and females with the age range of 18–25 years old as well as anyone who has an interest in dogs, follows Disney and Disney+, Disney villains, 101 Dalmatians, Disney movies, and anyone who has a Disney+ account and/or other subscription-based accounts. Similar to Facebook, these would be the ideal people to aim towards because these are the categories that would align the best for the movie and its theme. Tankovska has also created a graph based on the users on Instagram based on their age and gender. When looking at the graph, the age range is younger than Facebook’s demographic, but also very similar. Based on their graph and data, it would be ideal for Disney to be marketing to both females and males in the age ranges of 18–24 and 25–34.

TikTok user ratio in the U.S. 2021, by age group

Finally, TikTok would be the last platform that Disney+ should be marketing on because of its rise of popularity within the past year. This is a great place for them to reach the largest number of people. Recently, the latest trend in content creation is short form videos and since TikTok is all about short videos, this is a great place for Disney to push out content about Cruella. Martina Bretous, a writer for HubSpot, has provided three short-form video trends that marketers should be watching this year, which are more user generated content (UGC), behind the brand videos, and more explainer or educational videos. In her article, Brandon Sanders, a digital marketer for HubSpot Academy, stated, “The growth of social media is causing the human attention span to become shorter and shorter. So, leveraging the power of short-form content will give you a leg up on your competition and help engage your audience.” The ideal demographic for TikTok would be anyone within the age range of 10–49 as well as anyone who has an interest in Disney, Disney+, dogs, Disney music, Disney movies, Disney villains, and has a subscription-based account. This would be the ideal demographic because again, similar to Instagram and Facebook, these are the categories of interests that would be ideal to market this movie to. Tankovska has also created a graph displaying the age demographic for the United States that is on the TikTok platform. When looking at the age difference on this graph, the majority of TikTok US users are between ages 10 and 19, but overall, there is a substantial amount of people in the US that are in the older demographic on TikTok, hence marketing towards ages 10–49 are ideal.

Tone of Voice & Content Per Platform

When planning for a social media campaign, it is also very important to identify the voice that is going to be used on each platform. For Facebook, my team will be using the guidelines that Facebook has suggested. The tone of voice that Facebook has suggested is simple, direct, and conversational. This would be the best tone of voice for Facebook because it helps grab the short attention span of people, but also be very relatable as well. Here are two examples of what my team would do for Facebook for pre, during, and post event content:

Graphics and Content created by: Natalie Gonzalez

For Instagram, the tone of voice that my team will be using is a blend of being more personable and creating captions from the tone of voice from the characters of the movie. This would be the ideal way to not seem like we are traditionally marketing the movie, but rather having more creative captions based on the characters of the movie. This would be great towards developing the aesthetic and a more creative approach on sharing information about the movie without giving too much away. Also, by focusing more on including hashtags, this can help with reaching the target audience. Here are two examples of what my team would do for Instagram for pre, during, and post event content:

Graphics and Content created by: Natalie Gonzalez

Finally, for TikTok, the tone of voice that we will be focusing on is being as character-like as possible. Since TikTok is solely based on short-videos, this provides an opportunity for the actors and actresses in the movie to help with developing TikToks that can be viewed by the audience. By creating an account that is mostly about the characters of the movie and making them relate to various TikTok trends, it will help with spreading the reach of the campaign and with developing more user generated content related to the movie. Here are two examples of what my team would do for TikTok for pre, during, and post event content:

Graphics and Content created by: Natalie Gonzalez

Hashtags & Influencers

One of the best ways to reach the audience and also find user generated content is by using hashtags. By using the same hashtags across all platforms, it provides consistency across all platforms and it will help see which hashtag has performed the best. The hashtags that we would be using on all platforms are #cruella, #disneyplus, #disney, #troubleiscoming and #thedevilgetsherdue. By having these five hashtags, it provides a good number to make it not seem overwhelming and also to see how each of the hashtags are succeeding. Plus, it will be an easy way to find a lot of user generated content to be able to repost and respond to.

As a part of this campaign, we will also be working with influencers and having some partnerships as well. One family influencer that would be great to work with is It’s the Donnelly’s on YouTube. They are a big Disney fan family that has been invited to be Disney bloggers within the park and also share their time at Disney. Their family has expressed a lot of passion towards the company throughout their videos of them in the Disney parks as well as on a Disney cruise. This would be a great influencer campaign to work with because they can help target families with children to download Cruella on Disney+.

Another influencer that would be great to work with is any teenage or young adult influencer. A great example of this would be Emily Enchanted, another YouTuber that has been sharing multitudes of Disney content on her channel. From being a part of the Disney Internship Program to sharing what it is like to work in Disney, she has all the knowledge and experience on how to market the movie to her audience, which are primarily Disney lovers too .

Finally, the last partnership that would be ideal to work with is the cast of Cruella. Having the actors and actresses that are involved in the movie help with creating engaging content for the platform like behind the scenes views or dances based on scenes from the movie on TikTok would be a great way for the audience to see it as more authentic than a highly produced and edited video being put together. Also, by seeing the actors and actresses doing TikTok dances would encourage their fans to also try and do them too and make more user generated content.

Emma Stone Fashion GIF By Walt Disney Studios

When looking at the campaign overall, I think that my team and I did a great job of displaying different ways to market the movie to multiple age groups through the use of social media. If my team was planning this movie again, we would be focusing more time on the platforms that have the largest age range for an audience. Also, we would include more influencers in our campaign to market to other platforms that we are not targeting. This generates opportunities to reach a larger audience as well as increase engagement.

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