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Sneaky Ads at EPCOT

Everyone should know that GE, Kraft, GM, and all of the countries at World Showcase are actually considered advertising sponsors at EPCOT, right?

I went to the International Food & Wine Festival for the first time this year.  There were even more countries that sponsored, as well as foods organizations I didn’t think I would see.

Chase was the sponsor for the whole event. They even had a special place Chase cardholders could hang out. (I also found out that American Express has the same kind of place at Universal Studios.)
There was a cranberry bog with farmers in it talking about cranberries and there was a booth passing out little bags of Craisins.
The Hawaii booth was sponsored by Dole. But I didn’t see them passing out pineapple pieces and can’t remember if there was much pineapple on the menu.  Although it was a long day.
And then just watermelons. No booth, no talks, no country. Just a watermelon patch sponsored by the National Watermelon Promotion Board. I wonder how much that cost?
The Radeberger Gruppe, Germany’s largest privately owned brewery group, sponsored the Beer Garden. I wonder how many people, besides me, actually looked them up?

Of course, these all aren’t really considered sneaky ads.  But I did find one that blew my mind.  I had never used the restroom in the United States of America (this sounds funny,  I know) before that day and this is what I found tiled on the wall between the entrances.

Can you believe it?  As a media nerd, I instantly wondered how much this bad boy cost and how the media planner justified it to the client.  One of the things a media planner always needs are impressions (eyeballs) and I wondered how EPCOT was able to prove that people saw it.

I was in luck!  A friend of a friend in the group I was with actually works at Disney and watches all of the cameras in the parks to measure traffic patterns and determine volume.  He does it specifically for wait times and congestion, but he said that marketing uses it for traffic counts for advertising opportunities.  There are enough people who use the restroom at the United States to warrant having an ad permanently there.  He said that there was another brand that did the same thing in The Land Pavillion.  Wow.  I consider having your add tiled to look like art in the magical place on earth very smart… and very sneaky.

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