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  1. #1

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    March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    Disney's big marketing campaign for 2010 was "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day," an opportunity to earn Disney theme park tickets by doing local volunteer work in the United States and Canada. The evening of March 9, just 68 days into 2010, Disney announced that the program was over. "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" has "gone to Yesterland."


    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    Yeah, oops! I was waiting to register for volunteer work until all of my family was available to go on the same day sometime in April. Guess I'm out of luck. Oh well...it does seem a shame that Disney didn't extend it by another million or so to at least get through the middle of the year. Now less than 3 months into the year, the promotion is over...

  3. #3

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    Wow! You would think that the real message here should have been "What an amazing accomplishment that everyone's expectations of this promotion were exceeded in just 3 months!".
    One million people volunteered for various projects through this program. One million more than would have probably volunteered otherwise.
    I wonder how many more millions were fed, or clothed, or helped in some way - or were simply just touched by the gesture?
    No - instead, this story ended, literally, with the usual negative comments toward Disney. How unfortunate.

  4. #4

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    Quote Originally Posted by LFTWNG9 View Post
    No - instead, this story ended, literally, with the usual negative comments toward Disney. How unfortunate.
    Actually, I included all sorts of positive statements about the program, including direct quotes from Disney's press release.

    I liked the program. I liked how it encouraged and focused attention on volunteerism.

    It is unfortunate that Disney misjudged how quickly they would reach 1 million volunteers. It is unfortunate that Disney now finds itself in a position of losing goodwill, when the purpose of the program was to build goodwill.

    People who were bombarded with TV ads in January and February offering free park tickets in return for volunteer service are now being told "no." Non-profit organizations that hoped to run events in the spring and summer are no being told "no." (They can still run the events, of course, but they will no longer be able to offer the incentive that was the centerpiece of Disney's 2010 marketing.)
    Last edited by Werner Weiss; 03-11-2010 at 08:19 AM.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    Yeah, my girlfriend and I had signed up on (unknowingly) the last day the promotion was offered, only to apply at our local humane society that was overwhelmed with responses. We tried again, only to find out it was over.

    If they have a problem with extending an offer for free tickets, maybe they could just give a discount, or some other perk? I know this is going against the spirit of volunteerism, but we've volunteered in the past, and we've never heard of "overwhelming responses" and waiting lists before. It's clearly having a strong impact on these places, and it's a shame to end the promotion before everyone gets a chance, or before these places get forgotten again by the general public.

    Last year, we went on vacation and used the Birthday promotion (actually, my girlfriend's birthday is the day before mine, and we found another friend who's birthday was the day after mine). We ended up all getting the gift card option. This year, I'd settle for the Fastpass option from last year, a deal like last year's "buy 4 nights, get 3 free," or even free T-Shirt and Pin.

  6. #6

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    The birthday promotion gave out mostly one person free tickets who usually brought their paying friends/family along, and the volunteer promotion gave out groups of tickets. I wonder if the birthday promotion was actually more profitable for Disney? Even though Disney probably gave out many more free birthday tickets, they were getting extra paying guests too. Plus a ton of good feelings.

    The volunteering families/groups probably are not planning to bring along extra paying guests. Maybe that's why Disney chose not to give out more than 1 million volunteer tickets? Makes sense, I'm just trying to figure out the logic behind their moves...I hope they can come up with other win-win promotion, meaning good for Disney and also good for us the customers. Especially in this bad economy, the customer needs a little help.
    Last edited by Disneykin Kid; 03-11-2010 at 09:12 AM.

  7. #7

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    Wow, one million man-hours is truly significant... whatever the outcome of this debacle, they certainly made a huge difference in the lives of many people who needed help. I don't think it was executed very well as a marketing gimmick, but as a functional donation to society, it has been a huge success.

    This is typical Disney underestimating the public though. Disney is so obsessed with making money and "doing business" (and yes, I realize Disney is a business, but there's a difference between profit and pure price gouging) that they couldn't even comprehend how generous people are with their time. It could be that people just saw the value of a Disneyland ticket for an hour of work, but I really think most people did it to help others out.

    It's amazing how even a mis-guided promotion like this could actually do so much good in the world. But, any way that gets people help who need it is a good way.

  8. #8

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    My response to this article probably came across a little more frustrated than I intended. I guess the point I was trying to make is that it seems that the ending of this obviously successful promotion was looked at as nothing more than people no longer getting "paid" for their volunteer work - which, in my opinion, is a little ironic.
    Personally, I never realized that there was a one-million-person limit to this campaign - and I'm not sure how I missed that part of it. But I do know that, in my mind, one million people still seems like a very gratuitous figure.
    My frustration was not specifically geared toward the article or to you, Werner. I think I just felt that the bigger picture here was missed and that Disney was again taking the fall for trying to do something that, frankly, I've never seen another corporation do before, and yet it was done with good intentions.
    I also think that the promotion itself may have inadvertently caused a lot of people to miss the bigger picture when in fact it should have encouraged a broader sort of thinking, i.e; my earlier statement that people were getting "paid" for volunteer work.
    Maybe Disney should have raised the limit to 2 million - or even 5 million, as has been suggested. But I guess the real question is somewhat hypothetical: let's say Disney raises the limit but decides to stop offering free admission to the parks, would that new number still be reached?

  9. #9

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    Quote Originally Posted by LFTWNG9 View Post
    Maybe Disney should have raised the limit to 2 million - or even 5 million, as has been suggested.
    After reading some of the comments on this board (and noting how the same tone of posts has happened before), I think Disney should do themselves a favor and refrain from running any kind of campaign that requires altruistic behavior or provides "free" admission. If living up to the terms of their promotion causes such backlash from people who don't understand the true meaning of volunteering (doing something without expecting anything in return), then Disney is better off saving themselves the headache. Werner said it himself, "We worked with other volunteers who show up every week. They were nice people who donít expect anything in return for their services. In comparison, I felt a little bad that I would be there for only one shift, but I would be paid by Disney in the form of a park admission ticket."

    LFTWNG is quite correct: the fact that there were a million volunteers is incredible. That's an average of almost 2,000 volunteers a week if the promotion had lasted a year. And realize, that's not one million "man-hours" as Athlonacon states; that's one million volunteers. Werner, you and your wife didn't work for just one hour that day, did you?

    Given Werner's note about the admission, Disney gave away $84,000,000 in admissions to people who volunteered for shifts at places that they wouldn't have gone near with a twenty-meter pole if it weren't for the promotion. Now that there's no free admission in it, how many people that were going to volunteer will find something "better" to do with their time?

    This program was a smashing success, not a "debacle." It should not only be lauded and trumpeted as such, but copied by other companies across the country. Disney didn't underestimate the number of people that would sign up for the promotion; they underestimated how fast it would be done. They were above-board in their marketing about the fact that the promotion would end after one million people. They didn't hide anything from anyone about that. If you missed out on it, that's your fault, but stop throwing sour grapes at a company that did a lot more for volunteering in this country than most others have ever done.

  10. #10

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    Good post DL, I missed the cutoff but just having the list and showing me the great need realy opened my eyes, in fact there is an elementary school a couple of blocks from my home who could use some help. Thanks Disney for whatever your true intentions were.

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    What a success! One million people took the time to sign up
    and go do a bit of time a worthy local charity. AND you get
    to get into D-land for *free*. Hot dang!

    Out of those 1,000,000 tickets/vouchers... probably 1/100th
    have been used so far for DL entrance. People are probably
    saving them up for when relatives come into town over the
    Summer or maybe more towards the Holidays. The crowds
    are yet to come.

    Anyhow, mho is that NOT a single person should be whining
    here.
    Last edited by Rednoyz; 03-11-2010 at 03:49 PM. Reason: the word 'not' was missing in the last sentence

  12. #12

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    Mr Weiss,

    Seriously? You're unhappy with the response? Because you were unable to game the system?

    1,000,000 people volunteered. Mission accomplished. And you wanted more?

    I enjoy the effort you've put into creating the Yesterland area, but I'm very surprised you would take the tone you did with this article!

    Hoping you take the time to explain your position.

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    Quote Originally Posted by LFTWNG9 View Post
    Wow! You would think that the real message here should have been "What an amazing accomplishment that everyone's expectations of this promotion were exceeded in just 3 months!".
    One million people volunteered for various projects through this program. One million more than would have probably volunteered otherwise.
    Your assumption is that ALL 1 million were new volunteers. I would imagine that there were a good portion of that number who already volunteer and were now able to receive a park pass for their efforts. I don’t know if they will ever be able to differentiate those who were actually new as opposed to regular ongoing volunteers, but I know of some who already volunteer without the need for “payment”. They will continue. There will probably be a few that were looking for the Disney incentive who will volunteer in the future based on their experience. However, most will probably just go back to waiting for whatever the next discount promotion that Disney comes up with.

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    The registration process was very confusing and time consuming. I realize that SOME of that may be necessary, but I know many people who didn't get response emails, etc. and just gave up on the process. The non-profit we worked for told us that many times the websites didn't work correctly. It seems to me that many people, who a) either already volunteer or b) have a friend who works for an approved non-profit (and got credit for who knows how much real work) were able to snag the vouchers before others. Also, the idea that an entire family of 8 (!) can each "volunteer" for a day and everyone get a free ticket (worth over $400) means that there are just fewer (and now none) for individuals. It would be interesting to see the statistics of which non-profits got the most volunteers and the average voucher group (family) size. Also, how many were donated to the Boys/Girls Clubs and how many are to be used by those that got them.

  15. #15

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    Re: March 11 2010: "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day"

    Quote Originally Posted by gb72797 View Post
    Mr Weiss,

    Seriously? You're unhappy with the response? Because you were unable to game the system?

    1,000,000 people volunteered. Mission accomplished. And you wanted more?

    I enjoy the effort you've put into creating the Yesterland area, but I'm very surprised you would take the tone you did with this article!

    Hoping you take the time to explain your position.
    First, please reread my article. I'm not sure where you got the idea that I'm somehow "unhappy" because I was "unable to game the system." Every member of my family will get a park admission ticket, so the promotion worked out well for the four of us.

    I don't think my overall tone was negative, but if that's your perception, then perhaps I could have chosen my words better.

    There was much about the program that was very good. The million volunteer shifts undoubtedly accomplished a great deal. And Disney focused attention on volunteerism in general, which is always good.

    Yes, my final line — "Not quite the goodwill that Disney had hoped to achieve" — comes across as negative. It's a statement about the reaction to the abrupt end of the program. Disney's published goal was 1 million volunteers, and they achieved that. However, it happened so quickly and the end came so suddenly that it was a disappointing surprise for many people and organizations.

    The program was supposed to "inspire" 1 million volunteers "during 2010," not just during the first 68 days of 2010.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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