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Successful Advertising Strategies Used by the Walt Disney Company

By Victoria Cuciniello, Creative Content Producer

Disney uses a variety of marketing techniques for its movies, parks, and merchandise. Storytelling is the strategy that the successful Walt Disney Company has applied for years by gaining an audience through its stories and then selling their products (Medium). They tell stories through their movie trailers, posters, and campaigns, but with social media so prominent, storytelling has been converted to a much smaller scale. 

Social Media

While Instagram and Twitter are marketed toward teens, Disney also uses Facebook to appeal to parents vacationing with their children to Disney. On these social media channels, Disney has multiple accounts allowing them to appeal to a wide audience. Disney park accounts are used to encourage people to post pictures of their travels to the Disney theme parks in order to promote more visitors. Disney’s clothing accounts encourage people to view the new merchandise and also visit the parks so they can show off their new apparel. 


In order to attract customers to Disney’s social media accounts, Disney has used business techniques such as nostalgia (Medium). Disney recreates classic Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast into live-action films that are then advertised through social media. Creating Disney reboots is used to promote a newer audience that can enjoy movies that previous generations have loved. For Disney’s Jungle Book live-action reboot, the trailer features no music and little Baloo, but still kept the moody tone of the original movie. Something unique to this trailer was that it emphasized the actors that were voicing the characters invoking excitement in fans to see some of their favorite celebrities behind the scenes of playing an animal in a live-action movie. 


As mentioned before, Disney uses storytelling that inspires its audience through campaigns and movies. Disney’s “Dream Big, Princess” campaign motivates children to work toward their goals (Disney Parks Blog). Disney shows inspirational qualities that their princesses exemplify such as Mulan’s bravery and inner warrior or Belle’s dream of adventure. This campaign also involved 19 photographers who captured images of real, strong female role models from 15 countries as more inspiration for children and to steer away from the negative stereotyping of princesses (Disney Parks Blog).    


Campaigns are a great way to inspire children, but movies can also provide hidden messages throughout their stories in order to teach a lesson. Disney’s Moana is a powerful film that is entertaining but teaches children to listen to their hearts. Disney’s trailers provide stories to entice viewers to go out and see the movie. Then, the actual movie inspires audiences to purchase merchandise and visit the parks. With Disney being a leading company in the world, focusing on TV, film and theme parks, they have proven to be successful with marketing. 

Besides marketing techniques, Disney has grown a large dedicated fan-base and has influenced other businesses to come up with a story first that captures the audience and then advertises its product. The Walt Disney Company uses the strategies of invoking nostalgia, motivation and teaching a lesson through social media to reach their audience.

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