Let it go? But we can’t. First of all, apologies for planting the song in your head once again today, but you know that if we hadn’t done so, somebody else would have! It’s been over a year since the release of Frozen and the craze has yet to melt. Since its release in November 2013 the film has raked in over $1.27 billion worldwide, $733 million of which was made in 2014. I’m sure all of our Facebooks were shrines to Elsa and Anna this Christmas, whether it was a friend miming to “Let it Go” on Dubsmash, a video of a little girl receiving a frozen Barbie (literally frozen) or parents asking where they can find the highly sort after merchandise.  Whether you’ve seen the film or not – we have all been struck by frozen fever!

Let’s take a look behind the scenes at the success of this global phenomenon and how we, as we Marketing and PR professionals, can learn from this.

Take Feedback on Board

Disney has been condemned in the past for its representation of gender equalities, with some critics stating the damsel in distress type of female characters are just too reliant on men to save them. But this time around sisters are doing it for themselves! Frozen has taken the crown for the most progressive film in Disney’s portfolio having featured two female protagonists, adding a modern spin to the typical fairytale plot. By doing so, Disney won the hearts of a larger audience, from rights activists to female bloggers and this new audience took to social media to share their experience online. Positive word of mouth spread like wildfire and if the suspense of ‘what is all the fuss about?’ hadn’t gotten to you last year, the fact that the hype hasn’t lessened since might just win us less-than-Disney-lovers over.

Engaging material

Is it the catchy tune that caused this Frozen movement? Quite possibly, after all Queen Elsa and friends managed to beat Queen B’s surprise December album to the number 1 slot. But, there is more to it than just this. Fan created content shared on social media is how the animation was really propelled into the phenomenon it is today. Tune into YouTube and we will find endless cute videos of children and their parents miming to the soundtrack in their car, remakes of scenes featuring cats, flash mobs, and Frozen inspired wedding speeches. Log into Twitter and we will see fans hashtagging lines from the movie that fit nicely into their everyday lives. Scroll through Tumblr and discover edited images of celebrities morphed into the characters.  The point we’re trying to make is that the audience made the film their own, and it is this sense of personalisation that has meant everybody can get involved and share their take on the film online. Once a post receives positive feedback you can be sure thousands more will follow. Fresh content that just keeps on coming is held liable for the steady momentum of the movie’s success. Disney ultimately let the audience create organic buzz whilst they sat back and enjoyed the ride.

Take Risks

Disney recognised this ever growing online community creating a tremendous amount of buzz and decided to offer fans an online exclusive. This was out of character for traditional Disney who usually keeps their new material close to their chest.  As such, Frozen fanatics were able to joyfully listen and watch the ‘Let it Go’ scene on loop causing the clip to clock up almost 400,000,000 views. In addition to this, Disney uploaded 100 videos on YouTube for their digitally savvy young audience to further obsess over, including tutorials showing how we can create  a french plait like Elsa’s and a short animation showing the two sisters going head to head in a snowball fight.

Know Your Audience

While Disney films are quite obviously aimed at children, Disney understood that they’re not the only ones watching. To become a huge success on social (an adults playground) Disney had to connect with their peripheral audience. Consequently, they made an effort to entertain those close to their target with cheeky one liners only the parents would understand, a refreshing story line that pleased their negative critics and empowering song lyrics for the nostalgic teenagers watching; all of which are avid social media users.

Evidently there is something about Frozen that appeals to everybody but it was the interactiveness of the movie experience that has caused this phenomenon to stay hot. The power is in the consumers hands and boy do they love it!