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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “My favorite place to shop is a Best Buy store, because they have most of the electronics I like to look at and everything is setup for you to try the products out.”

—Male, 23, PA 

Fast food employees may soon be a thing of the past, as more restaurants gravitate towards automation to cater to the foodie generation. A new study from Frisch's Restaurants found that almost a third of 18-24-year-olds would rather order their food from a drive-thru because "they don't feel like dealing with people." The CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. who has plans for fully automated restaurants in the near future, says he has seen young consumers’ aversion for social interaction himself: “I've actually seen young people waiting in line to use the kiosk where there's a person standing behind the counter, waiting on nobody." (Business Insider

Viceland’s tactics to get Millennials to turn on the TV may actually be working. Maybe. The recently launched network’s “adrenaline-fueled shows” are showing signs of successfully attracting a young audience. Compared to its predecessor, History’s H2 channel, the average 18-49 primetime audience has more than doubled, and the median viewer age of the channel has dropped 17 years, from 57 to 40. Viceland’s programming president takes that as a signal they’re “doing something right.” Two of their shows, Woman and Gaycation,have also been recognized with Emmy nominations. (NY Daily News

Millennials’ pizza obsession is reshaping the industry. U.S. pizza sales have reached $45 billion this year, up $38.5 billion in 2015, thanks to young consumers. Millennials are not only gravitating towards healthier options, but “consider the experience as significant as the food itself.” As a result, the fast-casual build-your-own-pizza model has been thriving. The restaurant 1000 Degrees, for example, has opened 25 franchises in the last two years with plans to have open another 30 by the year’s end. The CEO attributes success to high quality ingredients, and transparency on what goes on customizable pies. (CNBC

Nickelodeon is launching a kids’ music video channel. The MTV Hits channel is being rebranded to become NickMusic, a 24-hour music destination that will showcase kids’ favorite Top 40 artists across all genres, as well as branded and artist-hosted programming like Videos We HeartPop Playback and Bumpin’ Beats. It will also feature concert specials and “music-inspired series” like TeenNick Top 10. The channel isn’t Nickelodeon’s first music effort: NickMusic, their digital radio channel on iHeartRadio, features “current hits, guest DJ appearances by channel stars, branded entertainment and celebrity interviews.” (Kidscreen

They may be competing for young viewers, but YouTube and TV actually help grow one another’s audience. A Google-commissioned Nielsen study found that TV can actually drive YouTube engagement, and YouTube can do the same for TV. For talk shows in particular, there was a 18% increase in tune-in on TV from an audience that had watched YouTube content of those shows. Nielsen says the results are “significant,” and commented that the opportunity is great for programmers and advertisers to “leverage the connection between digital views and TV audiences." (Adweek)

Quote of the Day: “My favorite app is Amazon, because it's so convenient. I can order things on Prime with just a few clicks.”—Female, 27, PA 

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