Disney finds a castle

Over the long weekend, the brand hosted a Beauty and the Beast soiree inside Toronto's Casa Loma.

A Toronto exhibit on Family Day Weekend proved that you’re never too old for Disney.

Casa Loma played host to a Beauty and the Beast-themed exhibition, complete with nine costumes (designed by Oscar-winning designer Jacqueline Durran) as well as set piece and prop replicas from the upcoming live-action film starring Emma Watson. The ticketed event featured Beauty and the Beast-themed cocktails, aerial silk performers and ballroom dancers.

Experiential activations to promote its films are nothing new for Disney — its used this kind of marketing to promote The Jungle BookAlice Through the Looking GlassMonsters University and others.

But rather than targeting families and children, the upscale location of Casa Loma and the museum-style exhibition was definitely designed to attract a sophisticated millennial and Gen-X crowd.

“While Disney is known for its kids properties, this film is definitely resonating with millennials, people loved that first Beauty,” said Greg Mason, Walt Disney Studios Canada’s VP of marketing. “Although we’re hoping that this can resonate and bring some new, younger fans into the picture.”

Mason said the initial trailer for Beauty, which to date has received nearly 39 million YouTube views, went “completely viral and nuts” and was Disney’s most successful viral trailer since Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Disney partnered with experiential marketing agency Simon Pure on the activation.

Beauty and the Beast hits theatres March 17.

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