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‘Monsters University’ Website: Disney/Pixar Major in Immersive Marketing

If you haven’t already heard, a prequel to Disney’s Monsters Inc. is coming. Titled Monsters University, the prequel isn’t scheduled to hit theaters until June 21, 2013. However, in the meantime Disney and Pixar have released – a website that allows you to completely immerse yourself in the world of Monstropolis and Mike and Sully’s Alma Mater, Monsters University.

The Monsters University site hit the web just a few weeks ago. The page takes the style of pretty much every college website currently on the internet, and makes it more awesome by infusing it with the Monsters Inc. world.

Look familiar? That’s because whether you went to college, are currently applying for college, had a child in college, or live in a college town, chances are you’ve encountered a website that has this exact same vibe. In fact, I’d even go as far to say that this site is even better designed than my own Alma Mater’s website. Yep. Disney did a college website better than real colleges.

The site is easy to navigate, attractive, and surprisingly very thorough. The fun doesn’t stop at the home page. Every link actually leads to another part of the site going into details about classes available at Monsters University, student life, athletics, and everything perspective students would want to know about a real university. Except again, this is way cooler because…monsters.

As a content developer myself, hats off to the creative content team behind the Monsters University website. Every line is infused with the fun, quirky Monsters Inc. style. You couldn’t pay me to aimlessly click around a real university’s website, but I could spend hours here. Every link and every page leads to unique, exciting information about Monsters University and reveals exactly how awesome this movie is going to be (HINT: extremely).

monster reading

Even monsters read books on the lawn!

The content doesn’t just graze the surface, either. There’s a detailed history of the University, a description of Greek life on campus, an event calendar, campus news,  and student testimonials. Specifics on the different schools (School of Scaring, School of Engineering, School of Liberal Arts and Monstrosities, School of Science, and School of Business) include course descriptions and recommended reading. There’s even a campus map that I swear looks just like the real campus I attended.

I have a feeling things on this website are going to get even more awesome as the Monsters University release date approaches. As of right now there is a student portal similar to Merlin or Blackboard, but you can’t register without a student ID. There’s a link detailing how to acquire said ID, but it vaguely states that IDs will be available “beginning this fall.” Maybe once we’re allowed access to the student portal additional trailers, information, and maybe even some fun games will be available. Hopefully we can all get our hands on an MU ID soon, because I want to go to Monsters University NOW.

Why was this website a brilliant idea on Disney’s part? Well, Monsters Inc. came out in 2001, and fans have been waiting for a sequel for years. Now, 11 years later, kids that grew up with Monsters Inc. are headed off to college themselves. The college-themed movie is a way to still engage that original audience, and the Monsters University website is a way to get that audience excited and tide fans over and keep them engaged until the movie actually releases.

monsters university merch

Sold out?! But I want it…

This site also allows Disney to provide a link to the Monsters University store, so prospective students can get their hands on some MU swag and start showing off their school spirit long before the movie releases. The store is clearly intended for humans like us, but in order to fit the Monsters Inc. theme there are shirts with multiple arms on display that are either sold out or coming soon. Things get even more fun on the order screen, where in addition to selecting your size there are options (they’re not clickable) for how many sleeves and collars you need.

I don’t know about you, but I am eating this marketing campaign up. Even though the site is purely to promote the film, there is no mention of the release date and no shameless plugging of trailers. Everything is presented as though Monsters University is a real college. Disney totally nailed it with this immersive marketing technique, and I can’t wait to see what else this website has to offer.


But I wanna enroll NOWWW!!

What do you think? What did you like about this campaign? Anything you don’t like? Will you be “enrolling next semester”? Sound off in the comments below! 

Photos courtesy of the Monsters University Facebook page and screen shots from the Monsters University Website.


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  1. Amy Swanson

    I totally agree with you Jenna! This site is awesome and a total time-suck, in a good way though. Anyone could easily spend a few hours just clicking around and you do start to feel like this college actually exists. Sad, but this pretend website is better than some actual websites I’ve come across.

    Can’t wait for ‘Monsters University’ to come out, if this is a an accurate teaser it’s going to be amazing!! Thanks for uncovering this website gem 🙂

    • Jenna Markowski

      Definitely. I had a blast “researching” for this blog because I got to explore the website! This website is definitely better than some actual websites…probably because it’s got a Disney-sized budget.

      I can’t wait for ‘Monsters University’ either! No problem, the pleasure was all mine! Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  2. Eric

    That website looks freakishly convincing, and – dare I say it – a lot more polished and refined than some university websites. I didn’t see the original “Monsters, Inc.” until a year or two ago, but I’ve got to say that after “UP,” it’s my favorite Pixar film, period. Yep. Even above “Toy Story.” I’m glad Pixar’s continuing to expand upon a premise and a story that works. As much as I like them venturing out onto new ideas, sometimes it’s better when they improve one something they already have…hey, it worked for “Toy Story 2” (that said, let’s all collectively agree not to mention “Cars 2.” Ever.). Great post, Jenna!

    • Jenna Markowski

      Thanks, Eric! I can’t believe how polished the Monsters University website is. A lot of colleges could learn a thing or two from Disney!

      Monsters Inc. is one of my favorite Pixar movies, too. I can’t wait for the prequel to come out. Based on this website it looks like it’s going to be totally awesome and introduce a ton of new characters while also building the backgrounds of the characters we loved in the first movie! 🙂

  3. Bret Bonnet

    I bet MU offers a better education than North Central College! 🙂

  4. Mandy Kilinskis

    I love the event calendar that’s actually continuously updated. It’s so brilliant. Also, I want to attend the School of Liberal Arts and Monstrosities.

    Basically, it’s one of the coolest things Disney has ever made to promote a movie. Because even though it’s not overly-WATCH THIS TRAILER, you still know exactly what it’s for. I also wonder how much merch they’ve already sold.

    • Jenna Markowski

      I love the event calendar, too. It makes me want to come back and check the site regularly so I don’t miss any Monsters University happenings. I’d love to attend the School of Liberal Arts and Monstrosities as well. It sounds like it would be right up our alley!

      I totally agree with you. That’s a good question! It’d definitely be interesting to know.

  5. Cybernetic SAM

    This is totally adorable! I the dedication they are giving this site! (From what I can tell) I can’t access the website, but I am sure it is cute. Great Blog!

  6. Mikey

    I am definitely impressed by the amount of effort and detail that appears to have gone into this site. It’s easily something they could’ve done with out much effort as a cheap marketing ploy, but they did some real work here and you can’t help but admire that level of dedication. And, I’m definitely looking forward to this movie. With the exception of the Cars movies, I’ve absolutely loved all the Pixar movies and I’m sure this one will be great as well. Thanks for the great blog!

  7. Jeff Porretto

    Pixar amazes YET AGAIN! Is there anything they do that ISN’T amazing? (OK, Maybe the CARS movies ?). I tell you one thing, they are marketing magicians! Their name has such cache right now, that I just assume anything/everything they do is top notch. This site is just the latest, albeit one of their most creative, examples. I love it!

  8. Rachel

    I love how things like “humanities” are instead “monstrosities,” hahaha. That’s so great. I guess I’ll have to add MU to the list of fictional schools I want to attend (Hogwarts, Starfleet Academy, etc. etc.). Thanks for writing about this Jenna, or else I never would have known about its amazing existence. 🙂

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