Universal Orlando pitches value in new ad campaign

Posted Tuesday, February 6, 2007 10:13 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Universal Orlando Resort kicked off its "Do the Extraordinary"-themed, 2007 advertising campaign Monday with two commercials airing nationally on 25 cable TV networks. They're aimed at convincing viewers that Universal is much more than amusement park attractions and a better value than Disney.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007 10:18 AM
This is the message I think they've needed to deliver for a long time. I know they do a really outstanding conference business at the hotels (they're all four-diamond), but I'm surprised at the number of people unaware that they have these places on-site.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007 11:00 AM
I just caught one of these commercials... the ending said something like: "less than a 1 day park hopper at Disney".
Tuesday, February 6, 2007 11:17 AM
You don't go to Disney for one day. You go multiple days, and it becomes a whole lot cheaper than $112. That's why no one in there right mind goes one day. They keep you there. Add new attractions, and attendance will rise. Disney is doing it.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007 11:45 AM
That's exactly the point I made in the podcast this week though. You have to stay at Disney for a long time to get that per-day value to a good place, at which point you've negated that value because you have to move in for a week!
Tuesday, February 6, 2007 4:08 PM
For my March trip to Orlando I decided to stay off site of both parks so as to save a little money as either on site was expensive for the time I am going. Spring breaks must make the hotels there raise their rates. I checked out on site at Disney and even the cheap way would have ran me almost 1700 for the week to fly, rent a car, stay on site and park a dmissions. Universal was about the same. By driving down and staying off site I have chopped it to almost 1/3 for hotels and Admissions. I am also getting a stop on the way at Carowinds for opening day. *** This post was edited by dragonoffrost 2/6/2007 4:09:25 PM ***
Tuesday, February 6, 2007 8:24 PM
Sounds good, only problem would be the decreased value of the resorts, especially those who would look at the nice hotels over Disney's. Disney is going for a more expensive taste now with the fancy ads in GQ and stuff, now Universal is going for the "cheap" route. It's an interesting shift and I can't wait to see how this turns out and what the ads actually looks like!

Oh, I'm spending 10 days at Disney this year at the bi-annual family vacation. But I hope to swing over to Universal to see BMG. (got my tickets for Dayton! 7th row!)

Tuesday, February 6, 2007 9:09 PM
The problem with Universal is that no matter what they do, they will still be a park boxed in by suberia while WDW is litterally in its own world, a bubble of fun where if you stay in it time tends to litterally stop, Universal cannot offer that, for instance look at DD, you have an amazing queue, and great looking train making you think youre in a medeval fantasyland but once you start climbing the lift hill what do you see: suberbia. Where as from any site in Disney, the most "theme wrecking" you are going to get off of any view (weither its Summit Plummit in BB or ToT in MGM) is going to be the fact you can see another Disney theme parks, and trees, lots and lots of trees.

That is why I think its a great idea for Universal to pull the cost comparision adds out there, becuase that is a place they can beat Disney (especially if their customer service stays where it is.) If they try to go up head to head in the quality factor, they are going to lose to the Deluxe Disney Hotels most of the time because of their great customer service record and the "X factor."

Tuesday, February 6, 2007 10:13 PM
Disney is overated. Mickey Mouse vs. Shrek, Hulk vs. Thundermountain, Space Mountain vs. The Mummy, Downtown Disney vs. CityWalk, Buzzlightyear Space Ranger Spin vs. MIB, Dinosuar(at AK) vs. Spiderman, and many more. The only "X factor" is that people are so blinded by there characters that they dont see the real product. Universal is easy to park at, both parks and Citywalk are accessable without waiting for some kind of transportation, and the rides are much better. Disney has some good rides, but they are spred around four parks. The hotels at Disney are great, but how long are you in the hotel? Are'nt you there for the parks?
Wednesday, February 7, 2007 12:43 AM
^ Is your little 4 year old son/daughter going to think that Disney is overrated? Probably not.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007 12:55 AM
Universal has to go after the cheap market because thewy cant compete head to head when it comes to what both resorts offer. Now maybe if GE would actually put some money in the parks and add alot of new attractions they could use that as a market ploy, rather than come to visit our parks, not because we are better, but because we are cheap and willing to give away the gate.
The idea of giving away your admission price hasnt worked at all for SF, there isnt alot of reason to believe it will have better results here.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007 10:01 AM

Sounds good, only problem would be the decreased value of the resorts, especially those who would look at the nice hotels over Disney's.
Are you kidding me? Have you been to the Universal hotels? They're all four-diamond. How many Disney hotels are even rated?

I don't know what "suberbia" is, but I feel pretty immersed when I'm walking around IOA.

I do agree with Bob though that without continued investment, the parks aren't going to compete. They can't do things on the cheap, and I worry that may happen with IOA's next attraction (or so I hear).

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 12:33 PM
I think you misread my post Jeff. I said that the problem would be when the ads start making Universal sound discounted, and as such, they target an audience who wouldn't spend money at expensive resorts. If those coming to your resort for those cheap one week tickets want to stay in Motel 6, then how is this helping your resort with upscale more expensive room rates?

I agree, Universal has more ranked hotels than Disney does and I'd love to try one out some day.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 12:51 PM

Disney is overated. Mickey Mouse vs. Shrek, Hulk vs. Thundermountain, Space Mountain vs. The Mummy, Downtown Disney vs. CityWalk, Buzzlightyear Space Ranger Spin vs. MIB, Dinosuar(at AK) vs. Spiderman, and many more. The only "X factor" is that people are so blinded by there characters that they dont see the real product.

Mickey Mouse vs. Shrek (I think Mickey Mouse is better.)
Hulk vs Thunder Mountain (I think Thunder Mountain is better even though Hulk is good.)
Space Mountain vs. The Mummy (I think Space Mountain is much better.)
Downtown vs. Citywalk (I don't care for either one.)
Buzzlightyear vs. MIB (MIB beats Buzzlightyear)
Dinosaur vs. Spiderman (Dinosaur wins easily.)

Tower of Terror vs. Drop Ride (Universal) (I like Tower of Terror.)
Rockin Roller Coaster & Expedition Everest vs. Dueling Dragons (Dueling Dragons wins.)
Disney shows (Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones, Pochanatos, Festival of the Lion King, Country Bears, Presidents, USA Show) vs. Universal shows (Fear Factor, Beetlejuice, Animal Planet) (Disney shows overwhelming)
Star Tours vs. Back to the Future (Back to the Future)
It's Tough to be a Bug vs. Terminator (It's Tough to Be a Bug)
Snow White's Scary Adventure vs. Dr. Seuss (Couch ride) (Snow White)
Star Tours vs. Shrek (Star Tours)
Rapids (Animal Kingdom) vs. Popeye's (Popeye's)

In all, I think that Disney is better even though Universal does win some in my book. The problem I see with Universal is the never changing rides like E.T., Earthquake, Terminator, and so on. They could still have a ride based on E.T., but why not change it up. At the other park, there aren't enough rides to ride. For me, it's like EPCOT being alone in the Disney francise. I agree that Universal has more on EPCOT, but definitely not the Magic Kingdom. That park just has a lot, and that's why it gets the huge attendance all the time.

It has Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Snow White Scary Adventure, Space Mountain, Carousel of Progress, Philharmagic, Jungle Cruise, TTA, Country Bears, and the Teacups. I never have enough time at this park. Of course, I do reride the roller coasters a lot. However, I think Disneyland (the Magic Kingdom part) has even better rides than the Magic Kingdom, and it is not because they have more roller coasters over there. I don't like there Space Mountain at all.

I like the Pinocchio ride, Snow White Scary Adventures, Indiana Jones ride, Matterhorn, Splash Mountain, Star Tours, Alice in Wonderland, Teacups, Big Thunder Mountain, Jungle Cruise, and Roger Rabbit (isn't bad).

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 1:38 PM
How many families fly into Orlando and go to Universal without ever experiencing Disney?
Wednesday, February 7, 2007 4:52 PM
My 9 year old daughter thinks Disney is Boring. I cannot believe that you think Little ThunderMountain is better than Hulk. Universal is for thrill seekers, Disney is for little children. Disney does have better shows, but I take Spongebob, Shrek, the Grinch, and Spiderman over Mickey, Goofy, Buzz and Pinocchico any day. Take away the Disney Characters from the park and the place stinks.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007 6:32 PM
^Not if you are a dark ride fan (Haunted Mansion and Pirates are still the gold standard,) and a firework/night show fan (Since the characters are taken out Ill only mention Illuminations, which is the best non special event (ie not a holiday) firework show I have ever seen. And for the record, when I go to Orlando I go to both and love them for what they are, but if I was forced to choose only one resort it would be Disney.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007 7:32 PM
PrimeEvil Whirler, I've found it depends on the family and what they've grown up with. I've found that my cousins like both Nick and Disney. Everyone has their personal opinions, and I respect yours, but maybe she thinks Disney is boring because her parent thinks it is too?

As for my opinion, I think none of the characters you mention have anywhere the same impact as the Disney ones do in my own eyes, as I've grown up with them, both in and out of the parks. (I'm 20).

To each their own.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 10:16 PM
^I never liked Disney characters, even as a kid. Give me Bugs Bunny, Taz, and Yosemitte Sam over the Disney Junk. Maybe you like the Disney charaters because they were crammed down your throat as a kid. To me, this is just my opinion, Disney characters are gay. I do like the Haunted Mansion, Pirates and the American Adventure at Epcot.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007 11:23 PM
^Define crammed and please pray tell how Bugs and Company werent crammed down your throat when Disney was? If youre trying to make a point about how much better the classic WB shorts were then the classic Disney shorts I have a feeling that no one is going to argue with you, however unlike the WB, Disney also had a feature animated department that has produced some amazing movies, quite a slew of which during my childhood which is why I happen to love the Disney characters.

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