From the Archives: Disney Tells Goth Kids to “Get Happy” Through Advertising

I’ve joked for a number of years that I’m a “closet goth.” While I still rock all black most days, the corporate world changed me and you’ll no longer catch me in bondage pants and a pentacle tee. That said, it wasn’t a phase and I still gravitate to the darker things in life. Including gothic gardening, which I now have a Pinterest board dedicated to and apparently was doing some research on back in 2010 when I came across this amusing Disney ad.

Disney Tells Goth Kids To “Get Happy” Through Advertising

It’s no secret that in my personal life I tend to gravitate to darker things.  I have been a huge fan and occasional participant of the gothic subculture over the years and covered stories about the innovative ways Twitter is being used by the Bats Day in the Fun Park event.  So tonight when I stumbled across a gothic gardening site I was intrigued by the various floral varieties that are available in black.  But what was more amusing was the subliminal messages being fed via online advertising on a clearly gothic themed page.

The page begins with the following:

“A Gothic Garden is dark and mysterious; overflowing with black flowers and shadowy vines, spooky plants, and powerful creatures lurking behind every stone pillar.”

But the ad that accompanied it was far less foreboding…

A "Get Happy" Walt Disney World ad appears on a Gothic Garden Design page


These days I know a lot more about digital advertising, and it makes me wonder if Disney was in fact targeting, albeit ironically, the term “Gothic” on sites with an ad that says “Get Happy.”  The technology was and is still there and if they were I’d say it was a clever as hell effort at marketing.

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