Disney launches interactive, social media campaign

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NEW YORK -- Walt Disney Parks and Resorts unveiled a marketing campaign, "Let the Memories Begin," that will feature guests' own Disney-inspired photos and videos in commercial spots that will begin airing this week.

And starting Jan. 1, guest photos also will be projected daily on Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World and on the "It's a Small World" ride at Disneyland.

The campaign, which includes television ads, online spots and social media marketing materials, kicks off with a TV commercial created from videos that were posted in Disney social media forums.

Starting in January, Disney photographers will snap guests throughout the day at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. At nighttime, those photos will then be projected on the spires of Cinderella Castle in Orlando and on the facade of the "It's a Small World" ride in California. As many as 500 photos will be used in each location every day, producers estimated.

For future TV commercials and other advertising and marketing programs, guests are invited to upload photos and videos at a "Let the Memories Begin" microsite.

"This becomes our first user-generated show and our first user-generated marketing campaign," Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said at a media event in New York to reveal the new campaign.

Unlike past media events, there was no revelation of any aggressive promotion like those the company has offered in the last two years. Past promotions included the free birthday admission offer in 2009 and this year's offer of giving 1 million community volunteers free admission.

While Staggs would not say what kind of promotion activity Disney Parks has planned for 2011, he did hint that whatever Disney introduced would be toned down.

"You're going to see a trend toward a little more normalized promotion activity," said Staggs.

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