Case Study 1: Euro Disney

High hopes!

When Euro Disney first opened its doors in Paris in 1992 their target markets were families in both France and other parts of Europe.  It was envisaged that the Park would be as instant a success as Disneyland had been in the United States.

However, Euro Disney made the catastrophic mistake of not taking the views of the French people into consideration when developing their marketing strategy. This in turn led to the company making massive losses in it’s first two years of business.

Major marketing mistake

The Park was marketed in the American style appeal of “bigness and extravagance”1 – like Disneyland in Florida. The marketing messages emphasised the glitz and size of the Park rather than the real attraction for their audience – the once in a lifetime, special family experience that would be remembered for many years to come. There was little mention of the amazing adventures and characters guiding visitors to what they could do and see at Euro Disney – a big pulling factor for families in France.

Not taking the views of their target audience into account resulted in the French people taking offence to the American style bigness approach of Euro Disney2. Euro Disney quickly developed in to one of the most expensive mistakes in Disney’s history. In the first 2 years since it opened, Euro Disney lost close to $1.03 billion.

1 Wentz & Crumley, 1993
2 Crumley & Fisher, 1994

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