The Walt Disney Company has built a tremendous brand since its inception in 1923. Since its founding, it has created a globally-known, household name brand for film and television, created twelve Disney Parks, acquired several major film and television studios, and created its own streaming service amidst COVID-19 restrictions leaving customers stuck at home. As one of the top media companies in the world, Disney has focused its global marketing strategy to ensure continued loyalty to the brand, along with continuous interest from new customers, whether that entail new acquisitions in media and entertainment or park expansions.
Marketing Disney's Global Parks
The Walt Disney Company is known for its storytelling abilities, along with its ability to make a visit to its parks a child-like experience, regardless of age. This brand theme is consistent throughout each of Disney’s marketing channels, including marketing to different regions for its various parks. One popular example of Disney’s extraordinary storytelling capabilities, aside from its movies, is in its 2018 advertisement, The Little Duck, promoting the Disneyland Paris Park. This endearing commercial follows the story of a little duckling who finds a Disney comic with Donald Duck and migrates through hardships to ultimately find itself at the Disneyland park with Donald Duck. With nearly 28 million views, this advertisement perfectly encapsulates Disney’s storytelling ability through almost any medium, even commercials. Even in the short 1:25 timeframe, Disney was able to provide a magical tale filled with joy, hardship, and humor that ended in a dream coming true, which is the message Disney continues to convey in its marketing. This advertisement tugs at the heartstrings of audiences across the globe, regardless of the fact that the advertisement is geared towards Disneyland Paris-goers, and follows Disney’s theme of magic and joy, a feat that is well-established and well-known by almost every person in the world. With these themes of happiness and magical stories, Disney is able to broadly market its films, parks, and mediums globally because few regions, if any, are not receptive to these themes.
Although the overall theme is consistent throughout its parks, Disney does tailor its experiences for each of its different parks. For example, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, a ride based on the France-based movie Ratatouille, is a ride located in Disneyland Paris and the France Pavilion at Walt Disney World. Cultural differences are also taken into account at different Disney parks. At Tokyo Disneyland, the food is more Chinese, Japanese, and American fusion-based than Disney’s American parks, and the Haunted Mansion at Hong Kong Disneyland is less frightening than in other parks. These small differences, which are still in line with the Disney brand, gives consumers in each region a more localized taste of the Disney brand, which further makes it appealing to each market that Disney opens a park in.
Through Disney’s utilization of its inspiring, heartwarming stories that bring its audiences childlike wonder and happy endings make it extremely appealing to people around the world. Its consistent branding and values has made its brand name widely recognizable, and by capitalizing on its magical aesthetics and its ability to induce nostalgia, Disney is able to be successful globally.