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Business Lessons From Hong Kong Disneyland

Fresh from our trip to Hong Kong, my family had a great time in Hong Kong Disneyland (especially my daughter Bianca). Internet marketers can take a few lessons out of Disney’s book in their online business.

The Art of the Pre-Sell: Stepping into the MTR (mass transit rapid) subway station at the Sunny Bay station, we got onto the train bound for Hong Kong Disneyland. The folks at Disney have decked the train out with small bronze statuettes of iconic Disney characters, and the regular plastic seats in the cabins have been replaced by plush velvet cushioned-seats.

As you step out of the station, the PA (public address) system starts playing tunes from various Disney cartoons like Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, and other cartoons.

Internet Marketing application: In your site design, strive to create an emotional experience for the visitor. Music can be highly evocative, as can be appropriate images. Since royalty-free music and low cost photo stock can be purchased inexpensively, there’s no reason why these tools shouldn’t be used.

Disclaimer: I hate “branding” type commercials and ads just as much as the next Internet Marketer. You should consider how music and image elements can be used in a “direct response” context, rather than in a pure corporate branding context.

hong kong disneyland golden mickeys

A Multi-sensory Experience: The theme park featured a number of live performances, and with the added zing provided by technology, featured 3D effects, smoke, confetti, fireworks and other pyrotechnics. These effects served to heighten the emotional experience and create memories that you can see, hear and feel (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) for months and perhaps years to come.

The best part is the “upsell” element, with the exits typically connected to the souvenir store.

hong kong disneyland bianca wee

Bianca Wee with my mum-in-law

Taking a piece of Disneyland back home with a souvenir is the icing on the cake for your kids (and Disney’s Profit and Loss statements).

Internet Marketing application: Create a positive first impression with either a free report or a $7 report and you’ll find an easy upsell to a $47 or $97 product.

If you need to, go guerilla. Create a $7 report based on the techniques contained with a $97 affiliate product. Use your $7 report to upsell the high value product and you’ll see a number of easy affiliate commissions slide by your way.


Smart Internet marketers will always keep their eyes and ears open and adapt unconventional tactics to get the results you want.

17 comments on Business Lessons From Hong Kong Disneyland

  1. Rasheed Ali
    August 15, 2007 at 11:45 pm (4825 days ago)

    Great post Andrew!

    Yes, I truly believe the multi-sensory approach has been missing online for quite some time.

    With the advent of “video marketing” and the evolution of “audio marketing” I think we’re going to see a lot of up and coming super-star independent marketers and companies dominate in both affiliate marketing and direct product sales.

    Wow, Bianca looks SOOO much like you man!

    Warmest Regards,

  2. Dave
    August 16, 2007 at 10:28 am (4825 days ago)

    I like posts like this which recount offline experiences and note the marketing lessons observed. Took my family to DisneyWorld in Orlando, FL (USA) in January 2006 and I noticed some of the same things. Another thing – we stayed in one of the Disney hotels and were looking for a quick fast food type place to take the kids (like McDonald’s, Burger King, etc.). So we asked the front desk if there was a McDonald’s somewhat local to the hotel… Well, to our surprise, she said she was “unfortunately not allowed to give out that information”, though she was very pleasant and instead offered a Disney-owned alternative!

    Internet Marketing lesson – Give your visitors one choice…one clear call to action (i.e., don’t put contextual ads on your salesletters!).


    PS: I agree wtih Rasheed…Bianca looks *exactly* like you, Andrew…

  3. Andrew Wee
    August 16, 2007 at 3:50 pm (4824 days ago)

    Hey Rasheed,

    Multi-channel or multi-media is a good name for it i think.

    On the other hand, I’ve seen video-only campaigns, lacking the support of a good direct response website on the backend that’s left me wondering why there’s a missing element.

    Re: Bianca: Thanks!

  4. Andrew Wee
    August 16, 2007 at 3:52 pm (4824 days ago)

    Hi Dave,

    Hmm…I think the staffer could’ve done better to give all the choices available, then promote the Disney-owned food joint with a little “we have our own restaurant too, the prices are about the same or a little higher, but the food is fresh because we don’t believe in processed food’.

    Re: Bianca: you’d better not let my wife hear that. I think she’s got my wife’s eyes though, rather than my squinty ones…

  5. Rasheed Ali
    August 17, 2007 at 5:48 am (4824 days ago)

    Honestly Andrew…

    From a direct response copywriter’s perspective…a lot of business owners simply have a fear of direct response copy.

    They think it’s either too “salesie” or too much “hype” but the fact of the matter is, direct response copy converts more sales! The thing most people forget is that direct response copy and advertising is the “forefather” all the modern advertising you see. Take a look at hardtofindads.com when you can.

    Internet businesses tend jump on the latest cutting-edge technology to market their products and services but often neglect – whether through fear or choppy strategy – the proven formula of direct response copy for increased conversions to sales.

    At least…that’s my take on it.

    Warmest Regards,

  6. Investasi Saham
    February 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm (3549 days ago)

    i like your writing and article about Hongkong Disneyland. Make me wanto to go there too

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