When Advertising People Fall For Their Own Advertising Horseshit

Chinese New Year is a pretty big deal here in Hong Kong. So when we were tasked to work up a Year of the Ox campaign for our client, Hong Kong Disneyland, we pretty much figured they'd pull all stops.

And we were briefed so, too.

Here are some excerpts I wrote* for the long-copy print advertisements:

High levels of festive spirits equal high levels of luck. Find plenty of both at the Park’s most spirited Chinese New Year procession ever! From January 25 at Main Street (3 performances daily), there’ll be a dazzling lineup of color and happiness. Leading the procession is the magnificent golden dragon dance. The good luck dragon is followed by the many traditional symbols of New Year – clouds, Koi fishes, faichun man, Gods of Fortune and others. Next, it’s Mickey as lead Chinese Drummer in the energetic drum show. Behind him are his Disney character friends, welcoming you from above the revolving parade floats. Everyone will be dancing and performing along to an eclectic music score that combines traditional Chinese music and modern beats. Come join the fun, and be there to collect the special lai see that will be given out to everyone!

*heavily edited by client*

Here is the television commercial that was shot for the event:

Looks pretty exciting, right? I mean, holy cow Mickey playing the drums surrounded by all those cool drummers? And that dragon dance? And all that CNY spirit and red packets? Bet you wouldn't want to miss that, right?

Neither did we.

So, one day after a meeting at the Park, the team decided to have lunch there and stay on to watch the oh-so-exciting parade.

This is what we saw:

Pretty ok costumes. Not too bad...

First disappointment: Dragon dance disappointingly not as long as we were told it'd be.

Second disappointment: Is that heart-shaped backdrop doubling as a Valentine's Day float? (Answer: Yes.)

Third disappointment: Only a smattering of aforementioned "dazzling lineup of color and happiness"

Fourth disappointment: Mickey WASN'T playing the drums. He was just tapping the drums along to the beat of the music blasting throughout the Parade.

Fifth disappointment: Yup, those are Mickey's fellow drummers in the "energetic drum show". The number seemed to have decreased by 90%, as compared to the TVC.

Our looks of disappointment on our faces were quite priceless.

What can I say? We were suckered.