Disney’s Cruella: Social Media Strategy

Abner Torres Martinez
5 min readApr 24, 2021


Disney’s Cruella is an upcoming American live-action film based on the 1961 Disney animated feature film, One Hundred and One Dalmatians. The highly anticipated film is scheduled to be released theatrically by Walt Disney Pictures on May 28, 2021. Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Disney is also releasing Cruella on Disney+ for an extra fee with Premier Access.

Without a doubt, Disney uses storytelling as a means to market to their audience on social media. They use it to interact and engage with them, share post across their social channels, and promote new and exciting things coming to Disney. The much-awaited film will be marketed through social media, specifically Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Disney has laid two main objectives they would like to achieve with their social media campaign. The first company objective for Disney’s Cruella is focused on growing their social following and audience across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Furthermore, the second company objective is to establish new subscribers for Disney+ through the help of their social media platforms.

To help guide through the campaign objectives, Disney’s Cruella has established social media SMART goals:

1. First objective: To boost awareness around Disney’s Cruella, the campaign will aim at receiving 2 million followers across social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

a. Specific: The goal of receiving new followers is specific and well-defined.

b. Measurable: New followers can be measured by tracking and recording them on Facebook Analytics, Instagram Insights, and Twitter Analytics.

c. Attainable: A social media strategy that includes famous Disney actors and celebrities promoting the movie can help Disney’s Cruella reaching 2 million followers be attainable.

d. Realistic and Relevant: Disney’s Cruella being active and involving famous Disney actor and celebrities to promote the movie on popular social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will help their goal be realistic and relevant.

e. Timely: Disney’s Cruella has set a deadline to achieve their objective by June 28, 2022.

2. Second objective: To increase conversions/sales of Disney’s Cruella, the campaign will aim at receiving 1 million new subscribers on Disney+ through social media platforms affiliated with Disney’s Cruella.

a. Specific: The goal of receiving new subscribers is specific and well-defined

b. Measurable: New subscribers can be measured by tracking and recording new subscribers during the duration of the objective.

c. Attainable: The goal is attainable as Disney+ saw an increase in total subscribers from 94 million to 100 million from January 2, 2021 to March 9, 2021 (Alexander, 2021).

d. Realistic and Relevant: In recent years, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, subscriber growth has accelerated for streaming networks. Since its launch on November 12, 2019, Disney+ has already surpassed 100 million subscribers (Alexander, 2021). A goal of receiving 1 million new subscribers is not only a safe number but also a realistic one.

e. Timely: Disney’s Cruella has set a deadline to achieve their objective by June 28, 2021.



As mentioned previously, Disney’s Cruella social media campaign will be implemented through the use of three of the largest social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The low-cost of using Facebook for marketing can be a huge benefit of using the platform as it can foster brand awareness and promote positive word of mouth for the campaign. Meanwhile, Instagram’s swipe up feature can be used as a way to convert new customers and boost subscribers for Disney+ by taking them straight to the sign-up site from Disney’s Cruella social account. Twitter can also be used as a great tool to interact with the target audience as it can boost engagement, reach, and impressions for the @DisneyCruella social account. It is also a great place to post social links to steer traffic to the Disney+ sign-up site.

Target Market

According to Hootsuite, Facebook users between the ages of 25 to 34 make up 32.4% of users on the platform; Instagram users between the ages 25 to 34 make up one-third or 33.33% of Instagram’s users; and 28.9% of users of Twitter are between the ages of 24 and 34. In terms of the overall campaign, Disney’s Cruella will target 18 to 38-year-olds who are parents. The reasoning behind the campaign targeting that specific demographic is because most 18 to 38-year-olds have a presence on social media — having at least one of the three platforms being used in the campaign. Additionally, 18 to 38-year-olds who are parents are more likely to subscribe to Disney+ and purchase Premier Access to view the film.


Disney’s Cruella stars an evil villain named Cruella De Vil, who is an ambitious and aspiring fashion designer, who will go on to become a dangerous criminal obsessed with dalmatian furs (The Disney Wiki, 2021). The social media campaign won’t possess a similar voice or personality as that of Cruella De Vil due to the nature of her character. However, the campaign will use a brand archetype called “The Ruler”, which desires control above all else and is a dominant personality. The voice behind the campaign is one that describes “The Ruler” — commanding, powerful, refined and articulated.


Online hashtags will be prevalent on content across all three social media platforms. Disney’s Cruella will only use two hashtags on Facebook during the duration of the campaign as it is the best practice on the platform. The hashtags that will be used on Facebook are #Cruella and #DisneyPlus. Disney will incorporate five hashtags on all Instagram and Twitter content to reach their target audience. The hashtags that will be used on Instagram and Twitter are #Cruella #Disney #DisneysCruella #DisneyPlus and #May28.


To achieve new followers on social media and new subscribers on Disney+, Disney will collaborate with famous actors and celebrities on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote the new film — Cruella. Collaborators will include Emma Stone, Emma Thompson and Emily Beecham who partake in Disney’s Cruella; Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie from The Falcon And The Winter Soldier; and Ming-Na Wen from Star-Wars: The Bad Batch (on Disney+ May 4, 2021).

Visuals: Social Media Campaign

Facebook Posting for Pre-Event Phase
Instagram Posting for During-Event Phase
Facebook Posting for Post-Event Phase