Projections, the Eiffel Tower, and anime: Comparing Disney ads from around the world
Shanghai Disney Resort opens in two weeks and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably very excited at the prospect of visiting the park because of all the cool advertisements you’ve seen about it.
Disney’s always been very good at advertising, but an interesting aspect of their commercials is that they’re made for a specific audience. As you’ll see in the list below, commercials from each park around the world differ, pointing to the idea that each park captures a different aspect of what it means to be a “Disney” park.
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This Paris ad seems the most western (for obvious reasons). The commercial shows larger than life Disney characters projected onto sky scrapers and famous western landmarks (the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben), beckoning families into the final shots of Disneyland Paris, with more character projections walking down the street.
Since Paris is the only western park of this list, it makes sense that they’d use western landmarks. Like many of the other ads, this one seems to get people to come to their park by showing the intersection between Disney culture and the culture of its audience.
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This commercial continues to bring Disney culture and the culture of its audience together by literally showing how a girl is affected by Tokyo Disneyland at every stage of her life. It’s absolutely adorable, and even drawn in an anime-style, again reflecting the culture of the people who’d probably watch it the most.
Unlike the Disneyland Paris ad, this one focuses more on an individual’s whole life, giving a personalized look at the idea that Disney can appeal to people of all ages. What’s interesting is that this ad still uses “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” in English, showing perhaps the influence of Disney’s western origins.
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This commercial is interesting because it’s the only one with no kids! Unlike the Tokyo Disneyland ad, which focused on an individual growing up, and the Paris anniversary ad, which focused on a group of people, this ad focuses completely on a single couple.
Also unlike the other commercials, this one brings the subjects directly into the Disney park. We see little, if any, of Hong Kong culture at all in this ad, leading to the idea that this ad responds to Disney culture more than culture in Hong Kong.
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In my opinion, this ad shows the intersection between Disney and a country’s culture the most. It shows a woman shopping, then being led away to Cinderella’s carriage; it shows children pretending to be pirates being taken on to Captain Jack’s ship while the Shanghai skyline shines in the background; it shows a grandfather and his grandson reading a book and then soaring away on Dumbo’s back.
All these elements really capture what the other ads do comprehensively: that Disney appeals to all generations, and can intersect with even popular culture.
These are just a few of the ads from Disney parks from around the world, but they really do give a good look at how different cultures relate to “disney.” Keep an eye out for more news about Shanghai Disneyland, and maybe Disney will create even more Disney parks in a country near you!
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