Surprise (Marketing lessons from Walt)

This is the first in my eight-day series – Marketing Lessons from Walt.  As my family and I enjoy Walt Disney World, I’m going to capture some of the marketing genius that I believe began with Walt’s passion and has now grown into one of the world’s most powerful brands.

We’re all familiar with the golden oldie – the giveaway.  Typically, we ask customers to sign up to win or create some sort of contest.  And then they wait to see if they won.  And in most cases, probably forgot they even signed up.

To tie in with their yearlong theme, "The Year of a Million Dreams," Disney has added a brilliant twist to the age-old favorite.                                                      
                                                They’ve added surprise.

Surprise Here’s their twist.  "Imagine walking through one of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks when a Cast Member taps you on the shoulder to offer you a dream come true. Right now, over a million extra-special dreams, some thought impossible, are being randomly awarded to people just like you."

It goes on to list prizes that range from not having to stand in a single line all day (more valuable than you can imagine) to traveling around the world, touring all of the Disney parks.

No little pieces of paper for your name and phone number.  No essay contest.  You just win because you’re there.  At that very moment.


Surprise is a story-inspiring emotion. It demands to be shared.

How could you add one of Walt’s favorite elements — surprise — to your marketing mix?

Marketing Lessons from Walt  – The Series:

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