As ticket sales for Frozen 2, the much-anticipated sequel to Disney’s 2013 blockbuster, heat up, some brands are well-positioned for a piece of the action.
Disney has secured 11 promotional partners for the film, which will hit theaters on Nov. 22 ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Ten of the 11, Ziploc, Google Home, JC Penney, Nature’s Own, General Mills, Enterprise, Juicy Juice, McDonald’s, Icebreakers and Glade, are new. Kellogg’s, the 11th, was also a partner of the first Frozen. The film will have more than 250 million touchpoints in U.S. retail, Disney says.
“We had an enormous amount of demand,” says Lylle Breier, head of global marketing partnerships and promotions at Disney. “But it was about getting the right partnerships—we don’t want to do them just to do them, or to have a bunch of logos on a page.” Not all licensees, which sell Frozen 2-related merchandise, are promotional partners, for example.
Nine of Disney's partners created custom spots, but some, like Google Home, created multiple commercials. In one spot for Enterprise, Kristen Bell, a longtime Enterprise spokeswoman who plays the voice of Frozen character Anna, tells a brand salesman about her upcoming epic adventure, before the video crosscuts to a clip from the animated film. JC Penney is running three spots and also hosting a store within a store. And Nature’s Own sent an Elsa-branded truck around the country as part of its activation. McDonald’s will have nine Frozen 2 toys in its Happy Meals, and is hosting an ice luge competition for the toys. All brands had to agree to use the Frozen 2 design assets, like autumnal leaves and colors, in their marketing, Breier says.
Until this summer when it was edged out by the Lion King, Frozen had been the highest grossing animated film. Yet much of that success, which included topping musical charts, was a surprise Disney executives couldn’t have predicted. Frozen 2, as a sequel, is easier to market as many in the public already know the characters. Yet Breier and her team have been working to raise the global profile of the film—Disney secured more than 140 brand partners worldwide, the most on any of its animated titles.
Early signs for Frozen 2 point skyward. Last week, reports surfaced that ticket presales for the sequel surpassed any other animated films. Variety cited predictions that the film will generate $100 million in ticket sales on its opening weekend.
Many of the co-branded Frozen 2 work began in October and will run through the end of the year. Beier and her promotions team, of roughly a dozen, worked with each brand’s marketing department and creative agencies, to collaborate on the campaigns and activations. Within the promotional group at Disney sits a smaller team responsible for creative executions.