I am going to be completely transparent in this post and tell you what I do for a living. I believe I need to do that in order to give perspective to my point of view. I am a media buyer for a midsized advertising agency located in Baltimore. I have my Masters in Marketing and I put commercials on your TV, run spots on radio and place ads in Newspapers. I love my field of work, but it obviously seeps into my Disney perspective.
When I heard the announcement for “Limited Time Magic” I, as everyone else in the Disney fan base, was intrigued. There has been lots of negative feedback. However, I disagree.
The program will include concerts, dance parties, colored lighting, enhanced character meet and greets, specialized menus and merchandise and events throughout the year. Instead of being a general “theme” there will be mini-celebrations to enhance the consumer’s experience.
• True Love: Valentine’s Week will include entertainment and prix fixe menus that will create special moments.
• Independence Week: 4th of July the characters will be dressed in their most patriotic costumes. Limited-edition souvenirs will be available, the castle will be bathed in red, white and blue and of course the fireworks show will be amazing.
• Long Lost Friends Week: The characters that you are dying to see for the first time, or to meet again will be around for photo-opps.
• Pirate Week: What is more hip then Pirates of the Caribbean and Jake!
• Unleash the Villains: Friday the 13th in September 2013 Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are staying open until the 13th hour (1 a.m.). There will be a Villains dance party and lots of other villain themed merchandise.
• Golden Horseshoe Revue: This awesome promotion will be a month long. The extinct Frontierland show returns for one month only.
These celebrations will be marketed all year long as “Limited Time Magic” however, the promotion also allows for a multiplatform approach (there goes my adverting jargon). It was announced that they will be using Twitter, Facebook, blogs and websites to keep guest abreast on what will be happening throughout the year. There will also be ways for visitors to vote on which characters will be a part of the weekend and to further customize the experiences.
I liken “Limited Time Magic”, all be it on a smaller scale, to Star Wars weekend or the Princess Run. It is a way to personalize a trip for consumers. If you are an adult couple looking for romance, go for the True Love celebration. If you are a historical Disney fanatic, go to the Long Lost Friends Week or in the month of Golden Horseshoe Revue. These celebrations will be a great way to personalize your vacation. I have seen written in the blogosphere that this is a great way to entice loyal Disney vacationers and locals to the parks. I agree, which is why I believe this promotion to be a good one. As a loyal Disney vacationer this will entice me not only to make my plans around a mini-celebration but to make more trips next year.
Forgive me while I ramble for a minute about the adverting approach. The “Let the Memories Begin!” advertising campaign was mass reach. It was a national campaign that was meant to reach as many eyes and ears as possible. They touted their affordability and offerings to as many people as possible. I believe that there will be components of this campaign that will do the same thing. However, I love the layering they are accomplishing by making announcements via Twitter, Facebook, blogs and websites. It is more interactive and (in my opinion) will draw people in on a continual basis. These mini-celebrations will also create a constant “buzz” throughout the year. Some of them will be more buzz worthy then others. But all of them will generate more talk than “Let the Memories Begin” combined. I would not be surprised when some of the celebrations stick and become annual affairs.
Disney is a marketing genius and I believe this is another homerun. Yes the title could be better, but the promotion itself will be a hit.