Marketing High School Musical, Pt. 1: The Movie

High School Musical Soundtrack


The soundtrack for the Disney Channel’s made-for-tweens tv movie High School Musical was the top selling album of 2006 and the dvd did ok too. Just about everyone that writes about High School Musical, whether the movie or the concert, frames such success as a marketing coup.

Marketing is mentioned in such diverse texts as a DVD product recommendation that praises Disney for “sheer genius in marketing” to a concert review holding that the “victor of the evening was surely the Disney marketing machine, whose execs must have been cheering all the way to the bank.”

High School Musical in Disney’s Karaoke Series

Interestingly enough, I’ve yet to run into a description or response to an ad or a commercial, it’s the cross-marketing and merchandising that seems to have caught so much attention since High School Musical now constitutes a universe in which any one aspect reinforces involvement while drawing additional fans into its realm.

The music promoted the movie and both promoted a vast array of merchandise and related media products from the dvd to the karaoke series to the calendar to the stage show, including a version that is being performed in community settings. Note that many of these products include actual involvement from karaoke to community productions.

Off the Charts Boxed Set

Hannah Montana and The Cheetah Girls 2 also did well in ’06 further developing an interconnected empire of wholesome goodness and self-esteem building content that could be considered old hat for Disney. However, the current tour of High School Musical – The Concert is raising questions about using the HSM universe to showcase a more mature image for HSM’s stars as they develop their solo careers.

Part Two:
Marketing High School Musical, Pt. 2: The Concert

Clyde Smith • ProHipHop • clyde(at)prohiphop(dot)com