Arts & Entertainment, Business

Anticipating What Consumers Want

Bob Iger

Lesson time 9:10 min

Bob gives his perspective on consumer data and why he believes you sometimes have to push it aside and go with your gut. He uses the films Black Panther and Captain Marvel to illustrate his point.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Diversity Case Study: Captain Marvel and Black Panther • The Limitations of Data • Real-Time Research Works at Any Scale


- You get to decide what kind of King you are going to be. [MUSIC PLAYING] - The movies that we make, the stories that we tell are far more effective, are far more popular, have much more appeal when they best reflect the audience that we're trying to reach. And that means infusing the stories with not only diversity of characters, but a diversity of storytelling. Storytelling that has some relevance, that is relatable to people all over the world. And I think one of the strongest brand attributes of Disney is that the storytelling of ours is universal in appeal. It works for everyone. That was purposeful in Walt's day, and it's still purposeful and obvious today-- maybe even more so because the world that we are reaching, thanks to modern technology, is far more broad, far more diverse. And because of the power of technology and the ability for us to tell our stories to people just about every place in the world, it's very, very important that when we tell those stories, there is relevance in those stories to people in different places and of different cultures and different religions. And in order to do so, the pictures and the storytelling and the characters that we infuse in our stories, again, need to best reflect the world that exists today. [MUSIC PLAYING] When we studied the possibility of buying Marvel, one of the early things we discovered was that they had thousands of characters. There had been thousands of stories told about thousands of different superheroes. That led us to conclude that because the Marvel storytelling possibilities seemed almost limitless given the thousands of characters, that we should consider more diversity when it came to Marvel films and Marvel storytelling. And the discussion that arose was a discussion about films where the lead was a female superhero and the possibility of doing a film that featured all black superheroes. And we had a discussion immediately about "Black Panther" and a discussion about possibly doing "Captain Marvel." There was an assumption among many that a woman superhero as the lead of a Marvel film could not possibly be as successful as a film that had a male superhero as its lead. And there were examples of films over the years that were female-led that were not as successful as films with a male character. I think there was a reason for that, and that is that just maybe coincidentally the films that had been produced with women superheroes in the lead just weren't as good. I don't really believe that there was a lack of appeal. So it was our goal to make a Marvel film with a woman as the lead, but to make a great one. [MUSIC PLAYING] The same was true with a black superhero. There was a concern that a film comprised of black superheroes or black characters-- at least Marvel characters-- wouldn't necessarily travel well around the world and the investment wouldn't necessarily be wise. Because we'd be spending as much to make a fi...

About the Instructor

In an era of disruption, Disney CEO Bob Iger led one of the world’s most beloved brands to unprecedented success with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Now, through case studies and lessons from 45 years in media, Bob teaches you how to evolve your business and career. Learn strategies for expanding a brand, leading with integrity, and making big moves—from risk management to the art of negotiation.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Bob Iger

Disney CEO Bob Iger teaches you the leadership skills and strategies he used to reimagine one of the world’s most beloved brands.

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