If She Didn’t Scare You Then….She Definitely Will Now: An Executive Summary of Disney’s Cruella’s Social Media Campaign

Colleen Harley
9 min readApr 23, 2021


source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3228774/mediaviewer/rm2813644033/

On May 28, 2021, Disney is releasing a new movie, based on a not-so-new character, Cruella. Cruella is set to be a live motion picture movie based on the villain from the 1996 major motion picture “101 Dalmatians”. With academy award winning actress, Emma Stone playing the role of Cruella, a villain protagonist, there is sure to be something for everyone in this action packed thriller, that focuses on the evil highlights of Cruella De Vil’s life.

Today, we will be disucssing the social media marketing plan/strategy I would implement if I was in charge of marketing plan for Cruella. We will discuss tactics used before, during, and after the movies release in order to ensure the success of the campaign. In order to ensure the marketing plan follows we will first discuss the SMART goals that will be our guide to an extremely successful, and engaging marketing campaign.

For Disney’s Cruella, the ultimate goal is to create a successful social media campaign that appeals to the right target markets, and persuades those people to see the movie. In order to have something to compare how successful our campaign is, were going to use the data collected from the pre-release, premier, and post release days of 101 Dalmatians back in 1996. Ultimately, our goal is to gain 20% more viewership within the first week of movies release than 101 Dalmatians did in its opening week.

source: https://blog.v-comply.com/smart-goals-for-business/

Campaign SMART Goals:

S: The specific goal for the campaign is simple; get .5 million people to see the movie either in theaters, and 1 million streaming it through Disney + on May 28th, 2021.

M: The success of our social media campaign is determined by how we measure our KPI’s (key performance indicators) through our social media channels that we run the campaign on during 2 weeks leading up to the release, during, and two weeks after the release. The measurable goal we will follow throughout the course of the campaign is conversions; how many people did we get from our social media channels to either buy a ticket, or pay to stream the movie 2 weeks before, the day of, and up to 1 week after the movie release.

A: In order to make something become attainable, you have to do research in order to prove that yes, these goals are in fact attainable. An attainable goal for the Cruella social media campaign, would be as I had mentioned earlier is to get more people to stream the release more than people physically showing up into theaters because of the pandemic.

R: Having specific goals are great, but if they are aiming too high (example- having 100% of all seats sold for every showing in theaters within 3 states is not realistic for this campaign because were in a pandemic). A realistic attainable goal would be to get 20,000 views on a Livestream done by Emma Stone promoting the movie. They have to be within reason. Realistically, our goal would be to increase traffic to our official site pages through our social media channels, where you can complete purchases in order to be able to view the movie on release day, and beyond.

T: In all aspects of our social media campaign, we want to make sure we are being timely, from the time we post content, to how long we measure our KPI’s before, during, and after the films release. For this particular Social Media Marketing plan, we will be analyzing the data and KPI’s for the two weeks leading up to the movies release, and up to a week after the movies release.

Platforms Used for Campaign:

source: https://www.subpng.com/png-e82ye0/

Instagram: Instagram will be utilized because of its diverse range of content is able to be shared (photos, videos, reels, stories, polls). Also, because there’s an extremely high volume of viewer engagement opportunities we need to capitalize on in order to make the campaign successful, Instagram is a key component. KPI’s will be extremely easy to determine as well due to the Instagram analytics tool on Instagram business accounts.

source: https://www.lsureveille.com/coronavirus/lsu-students-turn-to-social-media-app-tiktok-for-entertainment-during-quarantine/article_9474b476-73ad-11ea-8410-f3fc45550795.html

TikTok: TikTok will be utilized because it’s a video sharing/creation app. Due to the basis of TikTok being around video content, utilizing the platform is going to be an integral part of the social media marketing campaign.

Target Markets for Each Platform:

On Instagram, our target market is men and women between the ages of 13 and 50 years old, who are Disney movie fans, and have access to streaming services.

TikTok tends to be a little bit of a younger generation of users, so for TikTok, our target market are the men and women Millennials, and the Gen Z generation, between the ages of 13 and 30 years old.


Mysterious, Bold, Swanky, and Intriguing- just like Cruella herself. Since Cruella is a protagonist but also a villain, since that doesn’t typically happen in movies or stories, we want our target markets to be drawn to the movie because of how different it is from a protagonist standpoint.


Hashtags are a key part to a successful social media marketing campaign because it gives social media users/target markets the opportunity to discover content and posts relating to their likes and interests based off the data collected. Research shows according to an article published on naylor.com, written by Nancy Taylor,

“Less is more when it comes to hashtags. Keep their use to three or fewer per post/tweet when you can, and when you find one that works, keep using it.” (Taylor 2015)

Following this rule, the three main hashtags we are going to utilize on Instagram are: #Cruella, #DisneyPlus, and #CruelLikeCruella.

The three hashtags were going to implement for TikTok are: #DisneyCruella, #DisneyPlus, and #CruelLikeCruella.


Partnering and making relationships with different famous figures/influencers open up a world of opportunity to expand your target market to their connections and followers. Thus, bringing the potential viewership for the release of Cruella even greater because of more people being made aware of our event. For the movie release, were going to form 2 main partnerships; the movies star, Emma Stone. The second person were going to partnership is a famous TikTok star to help create a buzz among the younger generation; Charli D’Amelio.

Pre Event Campaign:

Instagram: We will be posting 2 in feed content posts twice a week. To go along with that, we will be posting 2 slides of Instagram stories, 2 times a week. Ideally, we will be posting in feed content at 11 AM EST, and 6 PM EST on Wednesdays and Fridays. For Instagram stories, we will be posting at 12 and 3 PM EST on Monday and Wednesday.

Example of Pre-Event Content for Instagram

TikTok: For TikTok, in the days leading up to the premier of the movie, were going to be posting post a 30 second video, twice a week to help peak people’s interest in the movie. These videos will be posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 9 AM and 7 PM EST.

TikTok Pre-Event Content Example-



For the TikTok video, I would make a mash up of the two linked videos above with pieces from Cruella (2021), and 101 Dalmatians Cruella scenes to set the tone for how advanced Cruella has become.

Caption: If she didn’t scare you then… maybe she will now. Premiers May 28, in theaters and on #DisneyPlus #Cruella, #CruelLikeCruella

During Event Campaign:

In the days leading up to the premier of the campaign, we implemented a contest with Emma Stone in the 2 weeks leading up to the premier on Instagram. The contest will focus around fans dressing up as Cruella, and posting it to their Instagram accounts, with the hashtag #CruelLikeCruella, and whoever has the best “costume” or submission, will be handpicked by Emma on an Instagram live herself, and they will receive a 2 free tickets to see the movie in theaters, or a free year long subscription to Disney + with Premier Access!

Very similar over on TikTok, Charlie D’Amelio will run a contest, much like Emma Stone over on Instagram- but with a twist. 2 weeks prior to the movies release, were going to choreograph a dance to the Cruella theme song, and have Charlie dress up like Cruella, doing the dance to the theme song! Since TikTok is known for viral dances, and Charlie is a dancer herself, this is going to really help generate a buzz among our target market on TikTok. Users can duet Charlies post, post their own video with the hashtag #CruelLikeCruella and whoever has the best dance and Cruella outfit, will win the same prize as those who entered the contest on Instagram will. Also handpicked by Charlie herself live on TikTok, the evening before the premier, on May 27 at 7PM on Charlies TikTok account.

The “during event” phase of the campaign kicks off at 12 AM EST on May 28, and will continue all day until 12 AM on May 29. On this day, for both platforms, we will be posting the winners of both the Instagram, and TikTok contest winners picture and choreographed dance video.

Instagram: Throughout the day of the premier, on Instagram we will be reposting to our Instagram stories the images that come in of fans buying/seeing the movie on the day of the release! The contest drawing will happen at 12:00 AM on the day of the premier, and the winners photo will be published at 11 AM on the day of the event.

TikTok: On TikTok, the winners video will be reposted to our page at 4 AM to ensure that video is one of the first videos they see in the morning upon waking up and viewing their “For You Page”, which will then encourage fans to go purchase/see the movie.

Examples of During Event Content:

Post Event:

In the week after the premier, our goal is still to have fans purchasing, and downloading the movie in order to drive our viewership up. But, we will be scaling back marketing efforts on Instagram to one in feed post a day around 11 AM EST, and 1 Instagram story posted around 3 PM EST, three times a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.

On TikTok, we will also be following the same guidelines, but republishing videos of fan reactions to the movie, exclusive interviews with Emma, and our favorite choreographed dances that fans submitted for the contest, but may not have won. We will be posting 1 video, 4 times a week at 9 AM EST on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Post Event Content Examples:

Post Event TikTok Video:

For the final TikTok video promoting the movie, we would put snippets together from an exclusive interview with Emma Stone much like this one talking about the movie, and her experience during filming, with her closing the interview out by saying “Stay Cruel like Cruella.”

Caption: Emma answers questions and talks about life as a villain protagonist. #Cruella out now in theaters and on #DisneyPlus #CruelLikeCruella