Disney Parks in Global Push

CHICAGO Disney Parks and Resorts will launch its first global advertising campaign to back a promotion in which it attempts to make attendees’ wildest dreams come true.

The push, themed “When dreams come true,” connects all of the company’s parks, from its signature Disneyland and Disneyworld resorts in the U.S. to attractions in Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong. The ads, created by Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett in Chicago, independent mcgarrybowen in New York and Disney’s in-house creative team, will employ directors Tarsem, Leslie Dektor and Annie Leibovitz, who will shoot both a celebrity-based print campaign and a filmed spot.

The client spent $170 million on domestic ads last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

In a global spot breaking in early October from Burnett, directed by Tarsem, children morph their realities into dreams from Disney movies. Three children jumping on a bed magically begin to fly like Peter Pan; a little girl opens the door to her house to find a pumpkin stagecoach awaiting a la Cinderella; and a boy imagines he’s flying on Dumbo. “There is a place where nothing is as it seems, where the ordinary is extraordinary. And once upon a time happens once upon a day,” says a voiceover. “Come live your dream.”

The campaign follows the Disneyland 50th anniversary promotion, which is ending in September, said Michael Mendenhall, evp of global marketing at Disney Destinations. Insights gleaned from that promotion were used to create the new campaign. “No matter where we went in the world, customers told us, ‘You are that place where dreams come true,’ ” he said.

The campaign is part of the broader “Year of Million Dreams” promotion, in which Disney employees will reward one-of-a-kind experiences to park attendees. Experiences include spending a night inside Cinderella’s Castle, traveling to each Disney resort around the world to serve as grand marshal in a Disney parade and admission to special parties at the resorts. The promotion kick offs on Oct. 6 with one family getting each park to itself.

“Our goal is to make dreams come true for every single guest who visits our Disney parks,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, in a statement. “Dreams and wishes are synonymous with Disney, and what better way to make a vacation dream come true than by allowing one lucky family to enjoy the Magic Kingdom by themselves.”

The promotion will also include an interactive component that will allow people to customize their vacations. Parts of the interactive campaign include a desktop “widget” that will communicate with Disney for updates on vacation planning and wireless technology that will update information for users in the parks via their mobile phones, Mendenhall said.