The Cunning Man Sees Opportunity in Misfortune – Lessons in Marketing 101

2 12 2009

During the course of my life, I have been rained on many times.

When you follow sport in the UK, for example, the chances of standing on a rain-soaked terrace are high – especially if you decide to watch cricket in England in May. Football/Soccer supporters are used to watching their team in a downpour, it just adds to the experience of general misery.

The start of the tennis at Wimbledon in June would guarantee that rain would stop play for some hours, thus allowing Sir Cliff Richard to serenade those poor souls on the centre court who didn’t want to lose their cherished seats to backpackers and followers of Tiger Tim Henman. Happily those days are now gone with the introduction of a roof over the playing surface.

Although Sir Cliff is a bit miffed. But I digress.

I have been to numerous music festivals where the wardrobe of choice is shorts, t-shirt and a bin bag. I have been in water-parks where the rides have been shut down due to excessive water. I have even travelled to the rainforest in Australia, where (surprise, surprise) it rained.

So after my less than successful day at The Magic Kingdom, why should I be surprised that the second part of my 2 day journey with the The Mouse ensured that I was drenched before 11’clock in the morning. And not due to a ride either.

Orlando, Florida…..the “Sunshine State”.

I am not blaming Mickey for the rain, even the mouse has no control over the weather.

In fact, I want to congratulate him on turning what could have been a miserable, wet experience into the chance to observe the genius of the business practices of Disney.

The capacity of this park is 15,000 (I know this because I asked a cast member!).

It was 95% full on 25th November, 2009 – families and assorted others spending the day before Thanksgiving in a display of communal queueing and fried food consumption.

It started raining at 10 AM. A slight drizzle to begin with, the type of rain that ensures that you get annoyingly damp, but not hard enough to put up an umbrella.

By 10.30, the heavens had opened and there were minor tsunamis occurring through the streets. And I was dressed in shorts and T-shirt.

Desperate to avoid being soaked all day, I sought shelter in a retail establishment. Where I noticed that the majority of drowned rats pretending to be human beings were still traipsing through the rain on their way to the attractions that were still open.

They were all wearing ponchos. And emblazoned on the back of this wet-weather gear? Mickey effing Mouse.

So I bought one.

It cost $7.50, was made in China and ripped when my wife tried to get into it to shelter from the rain whilst we were queuing for Tower of Terror (for an hour, in the aforementioned rain).

$7.50 for a piece of plastic. $7.50 for an item that may have cost 50 cents to make. $7.50 for something that was being worn by 12,000 people……in this park only!

And when the rain stopped in time for the big performance light show at the end of the day? You could buy a towel to ensure your seat was dry whilst wearing your flashing mouse ears. Genius.

Marketing Department @ Disney…….I salute you.




3 responses

3 12 2009
Lee Nichols

Hey Limey man,
You were a hit in our fair village.
It’s the journey, not the destination.

6 12 2009

Hilarious post – brings back many a childhood memory. I do hate ponchos.

9 12 2009
Kyle Psaty

Awesome post. This is Fing hilarious. We should definitely get together sometime soon re:Terry Byrne’s introduction.

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