Yesterday, November 18 2020, was Mickey Mouse’s 92nd birthday. You may have seen it on your local news; I saw it mentioned on my local ABC station (ABC is owned by Disney).
Here’s a screenshot of a news-anchor from my local ABC affiliate commenting on Mickey’s birthday:
Unfortunately for Disney, Mickey’s 92nd birthday was not a major topic of conversation on Twitter and other social media locations. You may have seen another story about Disney bubble up yesterday, and this story is much less flattering to Disney: SFWA – #DisneyMustPay Alan Dean Foster. In short, Disney is accused of not paying royalties to Alan Dean Foster, who wrote a number of Star Wars and Aliens novels that Disney acquired the rights to when it purchased LucasFilm and Fox.
This story (and the hashtag #disneymustpay) was a trending item on Twitter for most of yesterday; this tweet summarizes the situation very well:
I’m not here to litigate which side is correct, but I did want to point out the beauty of how this story was marketed: it was set up as counterprogramming against the story of Mickey Mouse’s 92nd birthday.
Yesterday’s news started with Mickey Mouse’s 92nd birthday on the news cycle: that “primed the pump” for more Disney related stories. By publishing the article #DisneyMustPay Alan Dean Foster on the same day, the article received much bigger growth and coverage than it would have if published on any other day. It inflicted reputational damage on Disney (which hurts more because Disney is a consumer-focused company) and cost Disney the chance to use Mickey’s 92nd birthday to drive more sales (because on November 18th consumers were thinking of Alan’s story, not Mickey Mouse). All in all, the SFWA managed to get Disney’s attention in a big way, and I’m sure Alan’s story is now being considered in the executive level of Disney’s management.
This case is a great example for any guerilla marketing campaigns: set up your marketing as counterprogramming to a bigger rival’s work; you’ll get far more reach out of your campaigns and your rival’s marketing will be much less successful.
Obviously the top-line theme is how GrubHub and DoorDash take a large proportion of the monies from online orders. But there is a lesser theme that I want to emphasize which is easy to lose in the outrage. Quoted from the article:
DoorDash pays Google an advertising fee to steal customers that are searching for our restaurant name “Saddleback BBQ” and they are redirecting them to their own page. From there a customer can purchase from any BBQ restaurant in Lansing…
Here’s the takeaway: While SEO is important, it’s not the end of the line. You could be the top result for your keywords, for your own business name (which was the case for this BBQ restaurant), and competitors will still take business away from you by running ads on your own name. This shows the power of a Google ad, especially an ad within Google’s Knowledge Panel (the side panel that provides contextual information).
That’s why it’s so critical to buy Google Ads on even searches you’re the top result in: to get rid of competitor ads that are trying to redirect business that should be yours. It might sound like a lot of extra money to spend, but as long as you provide a interesting landing page for the user the additional cost should not be too much.
One of the recurring themes I like to touch on with this site is how important ads revenue is to Google. As Google optimizes their search to show more local and “hyperlocal” content, more space will open up to show ads. Businesses will have a choice: buy up those ad slots, or their competitors will.
Need to book a hotel room, but you’re looking for a good deal? Google Maps has you covered. This post is if you already have a particular hotel picked out.
As an example, I’m going to pick the Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida. First, go to Google Maps and type in contemporary resort. Select the Contemporary located in Orlando, FL.
After searching, you’ll see a screen similar to the below:
On the left hand side, there are advertisements (note the small Ad disclaimer in the middle of the screen) where Expedia and other trip planning sites offer deals for the hotel. You can comparison shop between providers – KAYAK is offering rooms for $492, but Expedia is offering for $488 (see purple arrow). The dates of the hotel stay can be changed as well, see the red arrow for the date pickers.
Keep your eye out for similar ads and deals in Google Maps – I frequently see travel deals being offered.