Disney – The Master of Nostalgia and Branding

Disney has done an impeccable job of brand maintenance and using integrated marketing communications to market to their ever-growing audience. From “Finding Nemo” and its sequel, “Finding Dory,” it is easy to see that Disney has mastered the art of marketing towards multiple audiences.

One major way Disney has accomplished such wide interest across the ages, is using nostalgia to their advantage. When the announcements were made about “The Incredibles 2” and “Finding Dory” being released, there were memes everywhere from college-aged students about how they had been waiting years for these movies. And sure enough, many of these same people were right there in the theater grinning from ear-to-ear when these beloved sequels premiered.


Disney’s brand, and what everyone loves them for, is creating happiness through magical experiences. It is safe to say that Disney excels in its goal of creating happiness whether that is through movies, television shows, or taking a trip to the Magic Kingdom itself. This brand of happiness that they have created for themselves is one that has stood the test of time and is continually strengthening.

Tom Boyles, former Senior Vice President,  Global Customer Managed Relationships at Disney Parks and Resorts once said that “a good part of doing this is knowing your guest well enough to be relevant to them. In 2010, we set the goal to be relevant to every guest, every day, every time they interacted with our brand.” The only way to know how to stay relevant to each and every guest, is by listening to them. By listening to their publics and implementing marketing and advertising tactics that will be effective to each one, Disney has been able to maintain their strong brand and continues to be known as “The Happiest Place On Earth.”

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8 thoughts on “Disney – The Master of Nostalgia and Branding

  1. Disney is one of the best to create happiness and create loyalty. The company target a wide public. We can see that in my family my 9 years old little brother is crazy about Nemo, my 11 years old little sister love Frozen and I (I am 19) love all the old and new Disney movies.
    This article is so true, Disney is doing the best marketing and adverting job to target their publics. As explained, listening carefully to consumers is the best way to develop a relevant marketing strategy. Disney is doing that for its public and that’s why even older people stay in love of this brand.

  2. We were just talking about this nostalgia in my class the other day. I think Disney has done a great job of being relevant to young and old consumers especially with the new live-action remakes of old Disney classics. Disney is a supergiant that doesn’t look like it will be fading away any time soon.

  3. YES! I can easily agree that Disney has made outstanding marketing decisions since the very beginning. Disney has always been and likely always will be one of my favorite places on earth. It’s motto as being ‘the happiest place on earth’ certainly has held true for me and so many others! I know all too many 45, 60, 80, 90+ year olds who are still obsessed with Disney. Disney has marketed their brand so well that something originally meant to appeal to a younger audience consistently appeals to all ages and evokes such strong feelings in their customers that the loyalty to the Disney brand keeps people going to watch every movie, vacationing at Disney every year, etc. Awesome blog! It made me happy just thinking of the Disney brand!

  4. Disney is a great example of marketing power. It’s hard to watch TV without seeing a commercial either for Disneyland, a Disney trailer, or a Disney cruise. Disney does a great job at making their products family friendly. For their movies they apply adult humor as well as kid friendly animation. On a Disney cruise line they make sure to have activities available for the family as well as some serenity for the adults. Disney is evolving and will continue to grow! Disney looks to continue its marketing legacy for many decades to come.

  5. I think this article has a lot of truth to it. I am certainly one of the many kids that grew up watching the Toy Story movies, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. What Disney has done by releasing the second or third movie to these stories is genius. It really does connect to such a variety of people because you’ve got the kids that grew up watching the movies that are now young adults, the population of kids now and then parents from all of the generations as the audience for these films. Disney really did do a fantastic job timing these movies out right that they would get the most out of their sales of both the product and merchandise that goes along with it.

  6. Disney has always done an outstanding job with their marketing. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to understand just why we all love Disney so much! I agree that Disney uses nostalgia to their advantage by creating the sequels, but I can also say that I am always there to watch the new movies that they come up with. I think that for long time customers of Disney, we keep returning because we have always been satisfied and we know that they will continue to have creative and quality products.

  7. Disney is definitely a master of marketing and nostalgia. I remember watching many Disney movies in my childhood and falling in love with the stories. This allowed me to associate good times during my childhood with Disney. Many years later, this association is still present. I think it was a incredibly smart idea to wait over 10 years to release sequels of movies so that way it would resonate with the adults who watched the originals as a child. They are definitely creating and maintaining brand loyalty.

  8. I really do admire Disney and how they expanded their empire, they brought so much joy and creativity to many generations. I will critique that they may be focusing on brands more than the overall quality in some aspects. Specifically the sequels of famous movies, like Finding Dory. I feel like they took advantage of the nostalgia factor and then put the creativity/story second. This is ironic considering back in the day the story and experience was always their #1 priority. The popularity was thanks to that hard work, and I enjoyed Finding Dory but also could feel how they coasted on their past success. Fingers crossed for The Incredibles 2 that it surpasses the original in all departments.

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