In today’s rabid consumer-based market, where multiple companies vie for your hard earned discretionary income, every word has a price point. The word we care about? Epcot.
How much do you suppose it’s worth?
The Walt Disney Company went to great lengths to make it a real word – one that couldn’t be pilfered by others for profit. You see, copyrights and trademarks don’t apply to acronyms. The Epcot theme park, when it was called EPCOT Center, was impossible to protect as a term. The brand and the identity of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow was wide open to being used and abused by anyone who wanted it. Disney will tell you that in the mid-90′s there was a fundamental shift in EPCOT Center’s philosophies that warranted the name change to just Epcot, but a large part of the drive behind the change was Disney being able to trademark, copyright, and protect the brand of the park by removing the offending acronym.They now had ownership of what they felt was a valuable commodity.
Now they can stop Epcot from appearing in printed materials and on products from their competition – but they can’t stop the internet; in particular Google advertising. Every time someone type a search term into Google a little computer system goes into the database and searches for companies willing to pay for advertising space related to that term. Subsequently, each company has identified how much they’re willing to pay if their add is clicked-on, once displayed, for a given keyword search. Since ad space is limited, companies willing to pay more get pushed to the top and “out bid” smaller companies. Individual companies have overall expenditure limits as well, so occasionally a smaller bid goes through as a company bows out of a day’s bidding war.The price thereby fluctuates as budgets are expended.
Thus, each keyword has a sort of tangible average cost that can be identified. Google calls this the “Approximate Cost Per Click.” For the keyword Epcot the cost is currently $1.22 per click. That means every time you see a Disney advertisement after typing Epcot into a Google search, the Walt Disney Company is willing to fork out about a dollar and a quarter in order to have you prominently directed to their own website – not to other ‘unauthorized’ or competing websites. .
Usually Disney’s willingness to outbid others keeps their own advertisements firmly placed at the top of the results. Recently though, the Universal Orlando resort has taken a keen interest in what would typically be considered Disney’s own terms. In fact, Universal is entirely willing to outbid Disney to get some screen time with you should you be willing to jump ship while you’re investigating Disney’s Florida theme parks.
So much so that Universal generally pays more to advertise under Disney-related terminology than to defend their own terms like Harry Potter World ($0.50 Avg CPC) or Universal Orlando ($1.15 Avg CPC). Considering there are upward of 300,000 searches for a term like Epcot in a given month, that’s an awful lot marketing dollars from both companies going to simply keeping you on a Disney website or possibly stealing you away to see Universal’s theme park offerings.
Of course, there is all small beans in comparison to the 7-million-plus searches for terms like Disney World at an average $1.29 cost-per-click. Not to mention some of the more frightening numbers like the $7.86 cost-per-click for the fiercely competitive phrase Disney World Scooter Rentals. There’s apparently some stiff competition there.. and prices, while more modest, still range from $2 – $3 for searches related to Hotels Near Disney World as well.It’s sort of amazing what free enterprise is willing to do with their advertising dollars despite statistically very little direct conversion to purchases from advertising-click traffic.
And despite all this, there’s still 40k searches each month for the old antiquated term EPCOT Center running at an average $1.04 cost-per-click.