Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Best of Both Worlds: Predicting yet another Hannah Montana success story

With the Hannah Montana movie opening tomorrow, I'm going to go out on a limb here and make a prediction: it's going to be a huge box office success. How do I know this? Everything about the marketing and branding machine behind all things Hannah and Miley have been carefully orchestrated to optimal effect. Cute, wholesome teenage girl that doesn't remotely remind us of Britney, Paris or Lindsay? Check. Story line with a moderately appealing plot? Check. Perfectly timed movie release around Easter and spring break? Check.

This week's LA Times article, "Miley Cyrus Blaze of Modesty" further points out that the "ultra Disneyfied" fashions reflect the shift toward more parent-friendly tween fashions. And according to Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families manage kids media, the movie "is upbeat and perfectly G rated ... yet another marketing tool in Hannah's merchandise-rich world. The sexuality is completely innocent -- flirting, slow dancing, conversations about relationships, and three really short kisses -- and there's no language, drinking, or smoking. Expect frequent physical comedy (pratfalls, getting hit with a ball, bitten by an animal, etc.) and one scene in which Hannah and Tyra Banks fight over a pair of shoes."

So there you have it. What's not to love? Disney figured out a long time ago that the success of their brands depends not only on the popularity with kids but just as importantly with their parents. It's a winning combination. And that, I must say, is the best of both worlds.

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