Re-Heating Old Markets

While south-eastern Australia swelters through an incredibly hot heatwave, I thought I might focus on something a little ‘cooler’ for today’s article. In fact, the topic of today’s blog is so cool that it is frozen!


Frozen has been the big success of Disney’s last few months. The animated movie has currently grossed over $700 million, broken many animated film records across the world, won the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film and has been declared the best Disney animated musical since the studio’s renaissance era in the 1990s.

And to top it all off, the response that the movie has been receiving is so overwhelming that Disney has already announced they are working on a stage adaptation for Broadway!

There are, of course, a number of elements behind why this movie has been so popular. But I want to focus on an interesting strategy that Disney pulled out for their latest release.

For the English version of the movie, the highpoint song of the musical ‘Let It Go’ was recorded by Broadway superstar Idina Menzel. The song was then re-recorded by pop star Demi Lovato and released on the album with a specially shot music video to accompany the pop version.

While the Idina Menzel version has drawn a lot of theatre fans who wouldn’t have necessarily seen the movie without her presence, the Demi Lovato cover has done the same thing. It has opened the movie up to a new demographic! Especially effective as Demi Lovato reaches the late teenage girl market segment – a demographic who are generally ‘too cool’ to be seeing a Disney movie.

By targeting a song from the movie at this group of people there is incentive for new audience members (or audience members who have moved on from their product) to come back.

But Disney has moved beyond the international marketing scale with this project!

Disney has recognised that while Demi Lovato is incredibly popular with the English speaking segment of this demographic, there may be other singers with greater reach for this demographic in different countries. Hence, this song has been re-recorded by a number of pop stars who hold the same powerful position as Demi Lovato in their respective countries.

Let’s check out South Korea . . .

Hyorin, a member of juggernaut South Korean girl group Sistar, was chosen to re-record a pop version of this song for South Korean audiences. I am not an expert in South Korean pop (if someone out there is an expert, please enlighten me!), but the girl group Sistar came third in the list of Korean celebrities with the most commercial endorsements for 2012 – so I would guess they are rather popular. As if that wasn’t enough influence, Hyolyn has been labelled by other pop stars as the Korean Beyoncé.

As a result, she will open up this Disney animation to an audience who had just moved beyond the target Disney demographic. You can check out the Korean version below.

Clever move, Disney!