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Advertising and Galaxy’s Edge

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The model underestimates the crowds a little bit 

During a recent earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger reportedly said, “Maybe I should just tweet – ‘It’s opening!’ and that will be enough”. He was referring to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and advertising for the new lands in Florida and California. My source for the quote is the Orlando Sentinel, and you can read the full article here. It’s interesting stuff.

Iger has said that there will be very little advertising for the new lands because it won’t be needed. The second part of that statement is true, Disney and Star Wars fans will come out in droves as soon as we can travel to the planet of Batuu. But in my opinion, I think that they should still advertise.

I know that ultimately the goal of advertising is to get people to visit, but is that all that ads should be about? I think that ads should get people excited as well. When The Force Awakens was coming out, there was no way that I wasn’t going to see it on opening day. I bought our tickets the moment that I was able to, and we were seated at the very first showing. Leading up to it, though, I dropped whatever I was doing if an ad for the movie came on. The ads got me more excited. I think that ads for Galaxy’s Edge would do the same.

There are a lot of variables that we don’t yet know when it comes to Galaxy’s Edge. There will be food and drink for sale, and there will be plenty of merchandise. Ads for the new land could subtly incorporate those elements and make people like me want to spend more money.

I know that I’m not exactly an expert on where Disney should spend their advertising dollars. That said, I have a background in radio, and my husband works in advertising sales, so I do have some experience with how the concept works. I know that as a fan, I would love to see some commercials for Galaxy’s Edge, especially once the opening dates get closer. I think that it would be money well spent on Disney’s part.

Then again, maybe they don’t want to advertise because they know that Galaxy’s Edge is going to bring insane crowds. They might not want to add to them, at least at first. If you watch commercials for Walt Disney World or Disneyland, there are always open spaces. There are people who are going to underestimate the amount of pull and appeal that Star Wars has, and if they arrive when Galaxy’s Edge opens they will be stunned by the amount of people. I remember when Mark Hamill appeared at Star Wars Weekends. There were people who were shocked that Disney’s Hollywood Studios was so crowded. I kept thinking, “um, this is Mark Hamill, what did you expect?” Maybe Disney is hoping to keep people like that away for a little while.

Ultimately, it is of course up to the experts at Disney to decide how to best market (or not market) Galaxy’s Edge. It’s going to be successful, no matter how many ads they run. I do hope they decide to run some. I get excited just thinking about the new land, I can only imagine what my reaction would be if I saw an actual advertisement for it.