Disney Does Doodles (Part 2 – The Answer)

If you have not yet seen Part 1 of this article, please check out:


I want to thank everybody who took the time to study and come up with what they thought the fundamental flaw was.  There were several good and suitable answers to specific marketing flaws in the Disney piece, but the one that really stuck out for me when I read this piece was…

Disney did not give me a reason to RESPOND NOW!

So the big flaw in this piece was the fact they did not create any real sense of urgency for me to take action… NOW.   Imagine if they offered me a choice of a limited-edition Disney lithograph (with a real value of $500) if I were to respond by a certain short-term date.  Don’t you think that would boost response?

Congratulations to the following folks for identifying this oversight:

  • Gil Nelson (winner)
  • Steve Graves (winner)
  • Danny Stusser (winner)
  • Sarah
  • Ken Calhoun
  • Charles Horn
  • Jean


I’m not sure who first voiced the above fact/statement, but it’s a mantra I keep repeating to my clients (and myself) over and over again.

Please Remember This Truth About Human Nature: Inertia Is A Powerful Force!

Ever watch QVC or the Home Shopping Network?  Have you seen the little count-down timer they have on the screen during a sale?  Or they will display the number of units left to sell?

This is done for very strategic reasons, because QVC and HSN both know the challenge of getting viewers to take action.  These visual prompts help create real urgency.

Every time you create a promotional offer or want somebody to do something, you must give them a reason to respond now (or in some specific time-frame).  This is probably one of the biggest mistakes business owners make in advertising and marketing.

They simply feel by creating what (they perceive) is a compelling offer, people are going to get up off the seat, or put down the iPad, or turn off the TV to take action.

Nice thought…. But not accurate thinking.

It should come as no surprise in today’s world, getting people to take timely action is no simple feat, but as a business owner and marketer, you must always be thinking about ways to create “authentic urgency.”

Authentic urgency is about creating genuine reasons why a person needs to respond now.  By creating authentic urgency in your marketing, you’ll overcome the rampant skepticism and cynicism that is all around us.

[NOTE: Authentic urgency is the opposite of “contrived urgency,” which unfortunately we’ve all experienced and is something I am not going to cover in this article.  Suffice it to say… don’t do it.]

There are a ton of ways to get people to take action with authentic urgency, including:

  • Time-based offer built around a holiday
  • Time-based offer built around an event
  • Time-based offer built around the customer timeline (e.g. new customer offer, long-time customer offer, etc.)
  • Limited number of units
  • Limited number of opportunities, seats, etc.
  • Bonus gifts that go away over time

You get the idea.  Just make sure if you state a deadline date or a certain number of units, you stick by it.  I’ve heard of way too many stories of marketers faking scarcity and having it come back and bite them.

If this topic of urgency is of interest, here are a few recommended books:

  • Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini
  • The Science of Influence by Kevin Hogan
  • The Irresistible Offer by Mark Joyner



Finally, if you’re a bricks and mortar business owner and want to see an example of a time-based offer I created for a special Google+ Local webinar I’m hosting on October 30, click here.

About Mike Capuzzi

I'm a speaker, author and high impact marketing strategist for business owners and sharp, aggressive entrepreneurs looking to get to the next level in their business. I'm also the the inventor of the world-famous CopyDoodles. CopyDoodles are the world's largest library of handwritten fonts, hand-drawn doodles, comics and more designed to grab attention and boost your marketing results!


  1. Edwin Soler on October 18, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Mike, believe it or not, the sense of urgency you created was the luggage tag. I’m going on vacation in less than three weeks and the fact that there was a luggage tag involved definitely motivated me to answer a lot sooner. So even offering a small prize to a limited amount of people can also be a way to get action taken.

  2. Charles G. Horn on October 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm


    Right on.
    I thought you were going to say…
    “Because… it was Boring”. Which it was.
    It sounded like a one-to-many… not one-to-one and personalized.
    I agree with you fully…
    an Offer without a “legitimate”/”Reason why” deadline, is not an offer.

    Market on.
    Charles G. Horn, MBA

  3. Ruth Deutsch on October 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Mike,
    I understand what you say as the big flaw, yet I’m curious about my own thinking…I didn’t see the possibility for urgency in the direct mail piece, because I saw clear dates established when the offer was good for, so to me that meant if people wanted to take advantage of the promotion they presented the dates for folks to plan their future vacations and those were the only dates available, making it a limited opportunity. I suppose they could have said “last chance at these rates, don’t miss these dates!” But if Disney mgmt said this is what it is, we don’t want to offer special incentives just yet, we just want to get people to start thinking about us for their next vacation, which is how I interpreted the piece, I’m wondering what a person “ought” to have done differently in creating the piece. Sounds like you’re suggesting that these days it’s a waste of money to create a mailing that does not carry a deadline and reason to act now.

    • Mike Capuzzi on October 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      Ruth, thank you for your note. Like many things in life, there is no one RIGHT answer. My point is this. Creating a sense of authentic urgency is critical these days. Ironically, today is a day where I am doing coaching calls with mastermind members. These are successful business owners do very good marketing. Three calls so far today focused on the amount of energy it now takes to get people to take action. I am not saying Disney had to cut their prices or do anything extraordinary. But they could give me a reason to respond now (or at least start the process) vs. putting it in my “read later” pile. It could have been to simply download something from their web site (which would then “tag” me and put me into a DIFFERENT follow up sequence).

      Disney, unlike many of us, can afford to send out a mailing and not see a positive ROI. Sure, they can send out a “hope you think about us for your next vacation” type mailing and it will not register a blip in their bank account. However the rest of us have to be doing EVERYTHING we can to generate response and giving people a reason to respond now is a smart part of that equation.

      I consult with a lot of business owners and you would be amazed how often this simple concept is forgotten. Which is why I created these two articles. An offer without a deadline… is not an offer. Thanks again for your comments.

      • Roman on October 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm

        I agree with you Mike…

        Being and entrepreneur these days is a “serious” thing, we need more sales, gain clients, and that’s when as you said we need to match and OFFER with a reason to respond NOW.

        And I repeat, they need a P. S.

        Thanks for the post and for the contest, I’m not the winner but I learned a lot for this and last one.

  4. Alan on October 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    All good stuff Mike. As usual great reminders for us to watch our P’s & Q’s & deadlines! One day I’ll get one of these challenges right.

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