Case study: Marketing Disney magic

Hong Kong Disneyland’s latest launch, Mystic Manor – as its name suggests – is all about magic and mystery.

And as the first indoor attraction in the park that doesn’t stem from a film and a ride that is only available in Hong Kong, it’s a big headache for Hong Kong Disneyland’s marketing director Wendy Chu.

“Unlike Toy Story Land, which has a story that backs it up, we have to create a completely new framework for Mystic Point,” she said, adding that though last summer’s launch, Grizzly Gulch, also doesn’t originate from a film, the audience already know what will happen from looking at it from the outside.

“Mystic Point, however, is different. It’s indoors; so in comparison, it’s much more mysterious to passersby. So our challenge is to bring the mystery outside of the mansion and create a more entertaining story than Grizzly Gulch.”

Officially opened in mid-May, the new trackless ride takes visitors through an adventurer’s mansion whose collectibles come to life. Mystic Point, along with Toy Story Land and Grizzly Gulch, form the last chapter in Disneyland’s current expansion project.

To, as Chu suggested, “bring the mystery outside”, she has employed some interesting media buys: first is a gallery at 7-Eleven that displayed covers of New Monday magazine, on which was the photo of the adventurer holding his sidekick monkey printed on special paper that creates the illusion of them looking at passersby at all angles.

Second was another cover wrap at Metro Daily of the mansion veiled by another layer of butter paper to create a foggy, mystical atmosphere.

Aside from print and a TVC, Chu also followed up with online banners, and soon, an online video and a smart phone app that lets visitors learn about the attraction in further detail.

The current employment of both traditional and online media is to maximise awareness for all age groups in preparation for the summer holidays. The next phase, such as the mobile app, will give visitors a closer look into the new attraction.

“We wanted platforms that spoke to families, to children, to young people because Mystic Point is an attraction for all ages, unlike Grizzly Gulch, which was more for young adults,” she said. “Our marketing goal was simple: to bring out the magic from within.”

As an amusement park that needs to cater to all demographics, Chu’s overall strategy for Disneyland is in event marketing, namely, leveraging on the park’s two biggest events, Halloween and Christmas.

The October festival, for example, targets more to young adults. As such, she employed mobile games in a “Choose Your Dark Side” celebrity campaign that rides on the Twilight fad of werewolves versus vampires.

“By posing a tug-a-war between the two forces, we encourage engagement. And with a mobile app, the interaction is much higher and people can play on a daily basis,” she said.

Christmas, on the other hand, is a more regional-targeted campaign for families, which explains the generic heart-warming TVC.

Creative duties were done by Disneyland's in-house marketing team; while media and PR was overseen by Mindshare and Burson-Marsteller.