Disney-Pixar’s ‘Brave’ Debuts, But Many Fans Are Already Familiar With The Story

Disney-Pixar's transmedia approach to marketing reveals the story of "Brave" before the film hits theaters, intensifying audience buzz.

Disney-Pixar's 'Brave'Disney-Pixar’s “Brave” hit the box office this weekend, raking in $66.7 million, making it the fifth-highest opening ever for a Pixar film. The first two action-packed trailers were big buzz builders (and positioned the film as boy-friendly even though it stars a female heroine), but Disney’s marketing machine has been full swing for months, building interest through other media properties well before the film’s release.

In fact, kids could know a significant portion of the story before the film’s release thanks to a few book apps Disney rolled out the week before the film hit theaters. In a conversation with Lyle Underkoffler, VP of Digital Media at Disney Publishing Worldwide at Book Expo, we asked him about the early release of the apps and if it was a concern to reveal too much too soon. He noted that it all depends on context and timeline with each property, but “there are still surprises in the theater” for audiences that see “Brave.” Meanwhile, the brand has been building buzz around the characters and story with prequel pieces, carrying it through the release with “inbetween-quels,” and adding to the story with small sequels that tell stories that come after the film — with all of these extra stories taking shape outside the theater experience.

Movies don’t exist alone anymore, with product extensions and deeper character development coming as afterthoughts as films become successes. Young viewers want to interact with characters and stories in a variety of formats — a true transmedia experience. That desire has grown as they’ve developed a connection with films via social media, tweeting about what they’re watching, following film stars, and sharing trailers on Facebook. It gives film properties a life outside of the theater, one that Millennials wish to extend, both…

 
 

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