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The aim of this assignment is to understand and apply the marketing communication concepts via the books, journal and theories to analyze the market of Hong Kong Disneyland. Also, make use of the variety of communication, promotional mix, SWOT analysis and DAGMAR approach examine the Hong Kong Disneyland in order to find out successful and provide some improvement for them.
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Market Situation and Competitive Analysis
There are only two theme parks which are Ocean Park and Disneyland in Hong Kong. The attraction point of Ocean Park is to provide exciting and adventure games for teenagers. Conversely, the tendency of Disneyland is fantasy and delivers outstanding service to the customer. Although they are in the same industry and provide similar service to customer, they do not have the direct competition or conflict, because their target customers are totally different as Disneyland is targeted by children and family oriented. Recently, there are many Chinese tourist visit Hong Kong under the new policy condition. They will become the potential target group for Disneyland in the future.
For the Strength
Hong Kong Disneyland is joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the Hong Kong Government which hold 43 percent and 57 percent stake in the park (Groves, 2009). The strong financial support and resources backup make sure the development of theme park would be valued and constant.
Simultaneously, because of the investment contained by the two big investor-Walt Disney, which has enough experience in operating the theme parks in different countries and the Hong Kong Government, which has a high credibility has created a strong brand reputation to Hong Kong Disneyland in order to enhance the confidence and expectations to the visitors.
For the Weakness
Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest compared to the other Disneyland around the world. That’s why it has less attractions and rides, and the park has only four of the usual five main zones and the size are far small and only provide the guests with basic Disney experience.
Second, the games are falling apart and outdated, as all the games in Hong Kong Disneyland are copying from the others, which are getting old and traditions, many of the tourists, whom have visited Disneyland in Tokyo or others, were unenthusiastic with the small size theme park.
For the Opportunity,
In Hong Kong, a statistics from the Hong Kong Retail Report Q1(2012) showed that a total of 36.03 million people visited Hong Kong in 2010, up 21.8% year on-year, which are mostly, came from China and Asia regions. As the Hong Kong Disneyland is one of the famous scenic spots, the potential customers which are near Hong Kong would bring out a large number of customers turnover rate and profits.
On the other hand, the inclinations of parents are trended in pushing their children to join the education activities, and Disneyland is a place for children to enjoy and have fun. Besides, it has many theaters and places which can arrange a lot of activities.
In addition, the family attachments in Hong Kong are increasing, they prefer to stay more with the family. Bring along with children and elderly to theme park could enjoy the service in rides, restaurants, games and even the hotels. It is fit for the theme park that brings out the family oriented feeling.
For the Threat:
The Hong Kong Disneyland is facing the strong competitors from local and mainland. The expansion of Ocean Park has created more games and scope, to attract more visitors. As well as, the new theme park development in China regions, Shanghai Disneyland will be grant open in December 2015. In that time, a large number of tourists visit the new and bigger theme park whether than the small one Hong Kong Disneyland.
In addition, the decrease of birth in Hong Kong also affected the future of the theme park, because of the economic factors, people are being avoided to have baby. As the target customers in Hong Kong Disneyland are mainly for young people, if this phenomenon decreases continually, the customer turnover rate could also be affected.
The Role of IMC Branding
With much more products and services provide to consumers, the development and maintained brand identity become significantly important.
According to the Hong Kong Disneyland, there are five factors- Name, Logo, Slogan, Target Customer and Disney Characters. The campaign theme of Hong Kong Disneyland is “Where Dreams Come True!” The logo designs are come with castle, star and the name of the Disneyland. The main colors are purple, yellow and red. And, the park has its only Disney cartoon roles like Mickey Mouse and Minnie. Moreover, the target customers of Disneyland are based on demographic segmentations. The target customers of Disney are the 4 to 15 year-old children and family. Therefore, the park should think of the marketer design, packages and promotion to match their preference, for example colorful advertisement and attractive packaging.
Marketing Strategy – Packaging
Packaging is one of the IMC approaches which is a type of association that comes to mind when customers think about the brand. In the Disneyland, they packed the park as a fairy tale world with six areas based on their Disney stories. They are Adventure Land, Main Street U.S.A, Toy Story Land, Tomorrow Land, Grizzle Gulch and Fantasy Land. In each land, their decorations, music, food styles, and the atmosphere are matched with the theme. The customers can receive the happiness experience through these six lands. In addition, the packaging strategies of Disneyland are not only focusing on the internal part, but also the external part that they use diversity of promotion channels to increase the brand value of Disneyland.
Marketing Communications Strategies
The media mixes of Disneyland are appearing in several types. They are mainly focusing on magazines, newspapers, TV advertisements and posters.
TV advertising and Poster
Disneyland TV advertisements usually play within 8 to 10 p.m. during the dining time, because it is easier to capture the mass audiences and family groups. For example, the message of 2012, Disneyland Halloween advisement is to remind the viewers about the Halloween event. Using TV advertisements can attract and deliver messages to a larger number of watchers effectively. On the other hand, the similarity between posters and TV advertisements are both of them could attract a great deal of consumers in a short period of times. As well as, posters can place in everywhere to attract the customer, such as the MTR station, bus stop etc.
Magazine and Newspaper
By using the magazine and newspaper advertisements, detailed and updated information can be provided and delivered to consumers. And Disneyland had posted the article through these medias, in order to promote their new attractions. The advantages of these are informed and rise consumers interested in the event. However, it is not a useful way, as now consumers are more rely on the internet to receive messages.
Disneyland had invited Jacky Cheung and Angelababy to be its spokesmen. As well as, it has joint venture with the MTR Corporation to build up its MTR train and station to highlight the experience to the consumers. Besides, with the purpose of raising the reputation, the Disneyland has invited the singers or artists to play and join the event to form the celebrity effect.
Nowadays, children are spending a lot of time to browse the Internet rather than watch TV or read paper advertisements. In September 2001, Internet users spent an average of 10 hours and 19 minutes online per day. It means that the Internet marketing has a great opportunity and more attractive to develop. Therefore, the trend of marketing communication should shift from TV advertisements to Internet marketing in order to reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness.
The Promotional Mix of Disneyland is including advertising, direct marketing, personal selling, sales promotion and public relations.
For the personal selling, Disney has launched the service to arrange the Fairly Tale Wedding and Birthday Party to the consumers, such as the Cherrie Ying-Choi Yi and Jordan Chan was holding the wedding in the Disneyland since 2010. Kenny bee’s daughter was holding the birthday party in the Disneyland hotel, as well as established the ticket counter in different place, such as convenience store.
For the advertising, it includes parade, firework and sticker collection. The parade and firework start at the regular time on every day. And, the children can collect different kind of the Disney characters sticker from the staff.
For the sales promotions, the Hong Kong Disneyland would hold special events in every season. For example: Halloween, Chinese New Year and Christmas, with special decorations and unique entertainment to celebrate the festivals.
Last but not least, for the public relations. Disney develops a youth program, Disney children’s programs in hospitals, children’s fund and Disney scholarships. These programs are offering the unique opportunities for the children to come to Hong Kong Disneyland together and gain the learning experience in life and inspire students’ creativity.
Appeals and Execution Style
For the advertising appeals, when viewers are watching the Disney advertising, such as TV advertisements, Posters, which use the relaxing technique have make them feel excited, happiness, warmer and joyful. These feelings would bring along with the interests on the new entertainments or facilities in the park.
For the execution techniques, there has three main points. Firstly, for the imagery, the Hong Kong Disneyland has a castle and their unique Disney cartoon characters. For example: Mickey mouse, Minnie, woody. Secondly, The Animations which shown on the television advertisements, have sights, motions and sounds, those perceptions can arouse the audience’s attention. Finally, for the dramatization, the park has created its own songs and dramas. For example, the golden Mickey, festival of lion king, has some interaction with the children and family.
The nature of communicationMacintosh HD:Users:user:Desktop:Screenshot 2012-11-10 at 01.50.40 AM.png
In the communication process, Jacky Cheung and Angelababy play a very important role in attracting attentions to the Disneyland’s advertisement and deliver the “Where dreams come true” message, as well as influencing how well it is received by the children. Disneyland’s goal is to encode the “Where dreams some true” message in such way that it will be understood by the target customers.
In advertising, Disneyland use IMC approach to deliver the core message or meaning to the customer. In addition, Disneyland has variety promotional channel to spread and deliver their message to those children and loyal customer. For personal channel, Disneyland provides the fairy tale wedding and birthday party for their members. At the same time, Disneyland also has non-personal channel of communication. They have both prints ads and broadcast medias. For example, newspaper, direct mail and TV commercial broadcast on a prime-time.
Children are the receiver in this communication process. They can get the happiness and perception from the channel message created by the Disneyland. For example, Disney created a dark world theme and horrifying feeling in Halloween. If the children really can enjoy this feeling in the advertisement that means they are understand and correctly interprets what the Disneyland is trying to communicate.
Throughout the communication process, errors or problems may occur in the encoding of message. When the children are watching the Disneyland’s advertisement on the Internet and a problem occurs in the signal transmission, it will definitely interrupt their reception.
When the children received and clearly know all the information by the advertisement, they will go there and give back response to the Disneyland.
Hence, Disneyland has a excellent communication experience with their target customer, it is because they understand children is their target audience is, and they provide right channels, right medias and right time to deliver the message.
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Pros and Cons
Hong Kong Disneyland has used different channel to communicate with the customers. However, the use of the marketing communication which has brings out some of the advantages and disadvantages. Firstly, based on the pros,
Appropriate marketing communication Channel
Communication media can convey messages for larger user systems which serve such purposes as instruction, information, and entertainment. The strategies of mass media advertising to the Hong Kong Disneyland with audience are very appropriate. And, the theme park has use of difference medias to transfer its messages and the updated messages to mass consumers effectively, such as use broadcast media to attract the highly audience, And the posters in advertising light boxes to engage the passengers’ attentions.
Successful celebrity effect
Disneyland use of the celebrity effect successfully, in order to persuade their theme park, Yang & Lo & Wong, (2012) states that “The consumers might hopes that they become similar to the celebrities by consuming these brands.” As celebrities could represent and match the brand image, it has invite the artists such as Joey Yung to tried the games with customers, they share and exposure in different social network to get the highly attentions from the community.
Organized of personal selling
The theme park has a good personal selling in providing a convenience ticket channel of face- to- face and via internet, which the consumers not only can buy the tickets in the park entrance, they can also buy in the convenience store of circle k and the booth set up in the Hong Kong Station, as well as online payment, which provides a sufficient service and experience to the consumers.
Diversification of the festival theme and food style
One of the attraction point in Disneyland is they will celebrate the Chinese and Western festival each year such as Chinese New Year, Easter, Christmas, Halloween etc. On the other hand, Disneyland also provides different shape of food related to those festivals. For example, they produce gingerbread man cookies in Christmas to attract the children.
Well supporting facilities
Disneyland provides a good supporting facility for their target customers. It is because they have two Disneyland hotels, MTR Station, Disney shuttle bus and Disney train. It creates an impressive image for the customers, as the transportation network is wide. In fact, Disney’s markers make use of this channel to promote their theme park and build up the reputation as well as in the development of new attractions.
Second, Base on the Cons
Limited sales promotions
There has limited sales promotions in the Hong Kong Disneyland. As now, its main threat is the competitors from different places, and the theme park had only provide the discounts of annul pass to the loyal customers, as well as advertise in the medias. How about the tourist? The park has no other promotion or discount offered to attract the target customers.
Insufficient interactive activities
On the other hand, limited interaction with the consumers in the theme park, as the interaction effect could affect the consumer experience accordingly and directly, apart for the collection of stickers, there has no way to compare with the other Disneyland.
Unappealing television advertisement
The Medias advertising in television are not attractive, which only emphasize the new attractions to the audience. As the advertising could show the benefit to the consumers of using the product or service they will get inspired to buy it. (McMains, 2009), However, the park has not brought out the messages or any special to the consumers and it would never get in the audience mind.
Lack of education and ecological activities
Since the Hong Kong Disneyland had opened for a several years, but the population flow is always not too many. One of the reasons is they do not have the education and ecological activities like ecotourism which means travel to a natural places, typically under the guidance of a naturalist, for the purpose of learning about the environment. Disneyland’s marketers just pay attention on develops the fantasy atmosphere around the park.
Lack of direct marketing and Internet marketing
Referring to the above analysis, we can see that the direct marketing and Internet marketing of Disneyland is very few. They just send email to their member for the direct marketing and use Facebook to communicate with them. It is not enough for a large company to promote their product or brand in a high technology society. They should consider using other effective methods to deliver the message to their target audience.
Based on the opportunities and the threats, as well as the cons of the Hong Kong Disneyland, the suggestions have been made to the theme park
Establish of advertising storyboards
According to the cons of the unattractive advertisement, the Hong Kong Disneyland should create advertising storyboards or dialogues in order to draw the high impressions to the audient. According to Davenport 2010 stated that “The greatest advertising storyboards utilize humor or poignant emotions to evoke a response from viewers,” A special adverting can influence the mind of the audience and word of mouth. The park can create an advertising storyboard based on the slogan “where the dreams come true” and reveal the family oriented message which suit with the market situation and opportunities. Beside, separate the advertisement into few parts to direct the audience can retain their mind.
Increase of interaction
Interactive activity can communicate with consumers directly, so, establish the experience to the customer, and increase the interaction from the employee to the guests in very important. The Disneyland has to launch more activities and campaigns. For example, the campaign of collect stamps or the admission in a specific target can win one free tickets or present to encourage the consumer to come again in order to retain the loyal customers.
Strengthen the sales promotion
Based on the threat, the Hong Kong Disneyland is now facing the competitions with different theme parks, such as the direct competitor from Ocean Park. In order to win the competition, it should increase the sales promotions which are believed to change the accepted price-value relationship by increasing the value and/or lowering the price (Burnett 2000). For example, cooperate with the travel agency to develop a kind of price packages which always be included the cheaper tickets or hotels to the tourist and create the opportunities of the Disneyland. For the local customers, it can learn from the competitor of Ocean Park, offer discount with a free ticket to who are in birthday, people would come and bring along the relatives or friend together. It can increase the numbers of admission from consumer as well.
Joint activities with schools and educational institutions
The Hong Kong Disneyland can joint more different kind of activities with school and educational institutions such as carnival, drawing course, day camp etc. These events are not only can attract more customers, but also can add the value to children. Recently, environmental educators are joining visits to natural regions into their environmental learning programs for primary or secondary school students. A research report stated 8-17 years old young peoples who are agreed that learning in natural environments is more attractive. Disneyland can through the environmental education channel to add the experience for those children. When the parents feel that Disneyland provides other learning experience to their child, they would be willing to go there more than one time.
Develop Internet online games for child
Internet is a useful communication and information-gathering tool. The rates of Internet diffusion are fast and powerful. As a rapidly grow of younger internet users, Have used the internet for “fun” communications via text messages or social medias, browse in the website, download music or get information in movies, and other leisure activities. It shows that internet marketing has a great potential for development and Disneyland can through this channel to derive the messages to the young people, because they spend a lot of time in the Internet. They are willing to watch advertisement and news in Yahoo rather than in television or newspaper. Therefore, the development of Internet market is the general trend. As many Hong Kong children like playing games, Disneyland can create some online games for them to increase their brand loyalty and experience.
Develop mobile marketing
In consumer markets, mobile marketing has made an enormous potential platform for providing business services. The immediacy, interactivity and mobility of wireless devices provide a novel platform for marketing. The advantage of develop Mobile Marketing can allow companies to directly communicate with their target audience in everywhere at anytime. Accordingly, Disneyland should create their theme park application (APPS) or QR code to let the target customer check out the information more convenience. Virtually, it is a low cost but high effective communication channel.
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