Just like a lot of you guys do, I like to go on YouTube or Google a movie’s cool behind-the-scenes clips and interviews with the actors on their role in the film. When it is for a Disney movie? Oh man … there is something about that classic intro when the blue sky zooms out to a grand castle and then shimmery fairy dust arcs over it to the background of “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and then it dives into the up and coming film’s sneak peeks. You know that what you are about to witness is something magical.
Disney already knows how much they mean to an average American person’s life, being the foundation of his childhood and a tradition he can introduce to his future children. More than just offering great movies, music and theme parks to their fans, Disney can now invite fans to own a piece of their magical world, thanks to technology and of course, terrific marketing strategies. After all, wouldn’t people want to buy a piece of something that they feel they could be a part of?
One of the most popular events in Walt Disney Home Entertainment is the re-release of all those beloved Disney classics, but branded as a special edition. There was the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Platinum Edition DVD, the Beauty and the Beast Diamond Edition, and then older animated films from the 40s and 50s labeled as the Gold Edition. No, these DVDs aren’t carved out of actual gems, but these editions contain two or three bonus DVDs … including one with a digitally restored version of the film, one with extensive bonus features, and one that is a copy of the film with less bonus features. Sound kind of repetitive to you? It does to me too. However, this seems to be the magic formula because when these special edition DVDs are released, they are almost sold out immediately.
These films are beloved classics, and everybody wants to have something that has historical value. Before each release, Disney announces that the “Disney Vault” is opening to re-issue a new DVD that will only be available for a limited time before it goes back into the fault and won’t be out again for the next few years. This arouses hysteria in Disney fanatics so they rush out to snatch up as many as they can. This skyrockets the DVD’s status from a limited edition release to an actual collectible. In fact, the special Snow White DVD is sold on Amazon for almost 40 dollars!
You can think that if you wanted to see an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip that badly, why not just go to YouTube and watch it to your heart’s content? Yes, you can do that. However, would you be able to physically hold in your hands the hefty, half-pound DVDs packaged with sleek and vibrant colors and a huge banner across the top that proudly proclaims “Special Diamond Edition?” We think not, and Disney knows you can’t either.
So, the older folks can appreciate the return of Disney film classics, but how will this tween generation receive it? They receive it with open arms! How? Before each release, Disney brings in a popular Disney Channel star to sing an upbeat remix of a song from the film and play the music video on their channel during every commercial break. Hannah Montana’s Emily Joel Osment sang a rockin’ version of “Once Upon a Dream” for Sleeping Beauty’s Platinum Edition. Camp Rock’s Meaghan Jette Martin swirled and sashayed to a hip dance rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star” for the Pinocchio 70th Anniversary DVD.
It’s a guaranteed success since this marketing approach revives Disney nostalgia in the older audiences, yet delivers a newer and fresh appeal in the younger generation. Once again, Disney can do no wrong.
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