What Disney Can Teach Brands About Repurposing Content

disney classicsIt’s not at all true that content marketing means you have to constantly be producing new information that has never before been seen. If anything, extending the shelf life of your content is one of the best ways to keep your company relevant. Repurposing content, for many companies, means mining your archives, looking for new ideas that can come from older content. Disney, now the world’s largest media company, has hundreds of lessons it can teach us about strategizing our content marketing – and this company is a master of the art of repurposing.

Back to Our Old Favorites

Have you visited Disney’s official website? The site is organized around content – all of it familiar. There is even a section for characters that specifically links to your old “favorites” – so you can watch videos of cartoons that you know well. Disney knows how to play up the classics.

But even better is the site map, a drop-down menu that links to lots of older content: Disney on YouTube, movies, Broadway shows, theme parks, and the Disney store. How does Disney do all this and still stay relevant? The answer is a seamless integration of classic and fresh content. In the case of the Disney site, the company blog is always delivering something new.

Cross-Selling for Brand Loyalty

The Disney channel doesn’t show advertisements that are not relevant to Disney, which means that the channel airs tons of “behind the scenes” interviews, infomercials about new films, and other ads featuring Disney theme parks or cruises. In this way, each segment reinforces all the others, inundating the viewer with all things Disney.

Easter Eggs

But what Disney does best is its storytelling. Sticking to its themes and values while simultaneously featuring recurring favorite characters has made Disney stand out in a sea of other media. Disney is not a hodgepodge of new content: every move is carefully calculated and well planned.

Disney is also famous for its Easter eggs. Check out this list of characters and items that continuously reappear throughout Pixar films – from the Pizza Planet truck that appears in the original Toy Story to toy versions of Nemo and Sulley from Finding Nemo and Monsters Incorporated, respectively, appearing in other films. It’s not just Pixar, either: films like The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules feature cameos from old favorites, with Belle (Beauty and the Beast) walking down the streets of Paris in the former and a lion pelt belonging to Scar (The Lion King) appearing in the latter.

The Takeaway

Content that has been wildly successful, like a blog post that got a lot of attention or a company mascot that people find appealing, deserves to reappear in new ways. Repurposing content in the marketing world isn’t cheating – it’s strategizing. Viewers love reencountering familiar favorites, so consider your most successful content and find new ways to incorporate it into your marketing strategy.

How do you repurpose your most successful or classic content?

The following two tabs change content below.


Tree is a somewhat nomadic graduate student pursuing an MFA in Poetry and Literary Translation from Drew University. A self-identified “diplobrat,” she spent over 16 years living as an expat in countries like Guatemala, Bolivia, and Tanzania. Tree graduated from Smith College in 2012 with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature, a minor in Studio Art, and a concentration in Landscape Studies. In between writing poetry for school and content for CEM, she dabbles in goat herding and freelancing. Other interests include reading, watercolor painting, gardening, and traveling.

Latest posts by Tree (see all)

    Related Posts:

    Share This