Over the Christmas holiday break, Disneyland Paris unexpectedly unveiled their latest, and perhaps best, marketing campaign, titled "The Little Duck." The one-minute commercial follows an adorable CGI duck and his love for his idol, Donald Duck, who he discovers thanks to a Donald Duck comic that he found in the forest. The short is beautiful, heartfelt, and a great experiment in brand exploration and marketing, and the perfect tear-jerker that fans would love.
Following its success online, we've decided to take a look at some of the best commercials and marketing campaigns from various Disney Parks around the world. While most of the parks have been open for several decades now, there certainly will be a few omitted from this list, but we're taking a look at some of our favorites, and be sure to share some of your favorites as well!
The Return of the Main Street Electrical Parade
This commercial is the greatest example that Disneyland so perfectly knows and understands who its biggest fans are. This commercial takes place within a faux warehouse that houses unique elements from Disneyland's past. From ‘America Sings’, the Skyway, or the Matterhorn Yeti, there’s so much to see here and so much nostalgia to relive. The purpose of the short is featured brilliantly and brings the Main Street Electrical Parade back out of Disneyland's past for one final hurrah.
VHS Series of Walt Disney World Vacation Advertisements
In the 1990’s the marketing behind Walt Disney World released a collection of adorable commercials on their VHS releases to promote the resort, which was celebrating the opening of Disney's MGM Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom at the beginning and end of the decade. These clips are schmaltzy, heartwarming, and memorable.
At Walt Disney World, Anything is Possible
Going to Walt Disney World for the first time is an amazing experience in of itself, because whether or not you've visited before, you've likely been sold on one thing, and that's its absolute perfection. But Walt Disney World also has the potential to bring people together and make the impossible possible. Disney showcases the magic by showing the most ordinary of things–a child learning to take their first steps–into a magical and memorable experience. This commercial shows that at Disney, magic is all around, even in the smallest instances.
Darth Vader Visits Disneyland
To promote the opening of Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Disneyland released this hilarious ad featuring Darth Vader spending a day at Disneyland while he and his two stormtroopers wait for the attraction to finally open. This goofy fun short is a great example of the fun that could be had with the franchises, which would likely not happen today with the deep complexities of the ongoing saga, but it’s a great piece of Disneyland marketing.
EPCOT Center and the Dawn of a New Disney Era
When EPCOT Center was nearing its completion in 1982, the marketing behind the park began to showcase its breathtaking ambitions and attractions. Hailed as “the Dawn of a New Disney Era”, the marketing for the project took Disney right into the future, showcasing the 21st century an ideal that is still impressive today. These ads showcase the amazing technology and attractions that make Epcot revered, topped off with Mickey standing at the very top of Spaceship Earth, to represent Disney’s step into the future.
‘That’s the Power of Magic’ Campaign
Wrapping up this list is the Power of Magic campaign that Walt Disney World launched in 2017, and is still running today. The series of videos showcases the endless magic of the parks with spoken narration of iconic and meaningful Disney songs. The slogan of this campaign is ‘The World Tells You to Grow Up…Here You Don’t Have To” capturing the timeless magic of Disney Parks, and its ability to create endless joy and memories for all who come to this happy place. That is truly the power of magic.
What are some of your favorite marketing campaigns from Disney Parks around the world?
Mitchell Stein is the founder and operator of the Disney-fan based website The Mickey Mindset which is a leader in delivering Disney news, articles and opinions across the company. He can be contacted by following him on Twitter @MitchellStein1.