Amazon, Disney Execs Talk Content, Marketing Strategies

Jan 7, 2023

Disney movies are famous for their music, from the classical operatic songs of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” to the Colombian-inspired music of last year’s “Encanto.” But beyond advancing the film’s stories, the music of Disney serves as a way for connecting audience members to the content the company produces, according to Jennifer Rogers Doyle, Disney’s senior VP of networks franchise management, integrated planning and licensing.

“Music is such an engaging factor,” Doyle said at the Variety Entertainment Marketing Summit Sponsored by Amazon Advertising. “It invokes emotion. So with each one of our properties that has music, we have full on music strategies. Music strategy starts for us before we’re even producing the music: what’s going to be that song that hooks people in, that shows you what the world might be? How can we put out music videos or lyric videos or sing-alongs or behind-the-scenes [content] to allow our kids and consumers to really engage in that?”

Doyle was joined in a panel conversation with Alexys Ruiz Coronel, the director and head of U.S. entertainment and telecommunications at Amazon Advertising, as well as Spencer Kaplan, the head of entertainment marketing at Riot Games. The panel, moderated by UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Jay Tucker, was titled “Content Connects: How Brands Are Connecting Audiences With Stories They Love and Products They Want,” and saw the three discuss how to use content to develop personal connections with consumers and how to use content to influence purchasing decisions.

According to Kaplan, Riot Games focuses on the reactions of the most passionate fans when devising marketing strategies for their popular video game “League of Legends.” Like Disney, Riot Games uses music as a strategy for engaging with consumers, as well as outlets such as YouTube for marketing.

“The core advocates, the most passionate fans, are the ones that are first out of the gate to talk about it. Do your research, do your homework, know about the characters, and then, what kind of seed do you want to hopefully plant?” Kaplan said. “What do you anticipate them to feel as they’re watching the episode? How do you hope to inspire them to share and express that? Music. Or maybe they love to watch YouTube [about the content]. That unlocks some strategies.”

Coronel has been working on developing a new marketing strategy for Amazon, centered around using the films and TV series the company produces as a marketing tool. According to Coronel, the strategy focuses on looking at consumers’ streaming and television watching habits to feed them information regarding products related to a favorite franchise, film or show.

“The beautiful thing about content is that when you really touch someone and make that emotional connection, they want to open up their wallet because that’s a signal of who they are,” Coronel said.

The Variety Entertainment Marketing conference was held in Los Angeles on May 24. Watch the full conversation below.

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