Wait a minute. Isn't this the summer that Toy Story Land opens at Disney's Hollywood Studios? Why would Disney choose to brand its summer around a different Pixar franchise, instead of the one anchoring the biggest new attraction at Walt Disney World this year?
Ask that, young marketing Padawan, and you will learn something about Disney and how it promotes its theme parks differently than just about everyone else in this industry. Remember that Disney's biggest — and ultimately, only — product is "Disney" itself. The theme parks provide just more one component driving the company's lifestyle brand.
The "Incredible Summer" branding would work better at the Disneyland Resort in California, which is retheming its former Paradise Pier as Pixar Pier, with an new Incredibles theme for the former California Screamin' coaster as the anchor of that transformation. But Disney is using the branding in Florida, which isn't getting any new Incredibles-themed attraction beyond expanded Tomorrowland meet-and-greets and a Rocket Tower Stage dance party.
But theme park branding initiatives aren't just about promoting theme parks at Disney. They're about promoting whatever the "Big Thing" that Disney has to offer at the moment. And this summer, that Big Thing is the premiere of Incredibles 2 in theaters. That's right. Walt Disney World's summer promotion isn't about promoting Disney World. It's about promoting a Disney movie.
Which makes sense from a timing standpoint. Most people who are investing big bucks in a summer vacation at Disney World this year started planning — and booking — that months ago. A branding campaign now comes too late to influence those decisions. So this summer branding campaign isn't about convincing people to come to Disney World, it's all about reminding the people who are there to go see Incredibles 2, as well.
And beyond that, it's about solidifying visitors' mental connection between the Walt Disney World Resort and everything else that the company has to offer. That way, people can feel like they are experiencing Incredibles 2 at Disney World, even if the company hasn't built a new attraction there themed to that. It's the marketing equivalent of eating your cake and while still having it, too.
Which, when you stop to think about it, really is pretty... well, incredible. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
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