Small is beautiful



Small is beautiful

By Cliff Moore, Account Director, Deep South Media



I’ve been suspending my disbelief.

You might think I’ve been reading the works of poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge who coined the phrase in 1817.

Of course, if you believe that my cognitive estrangement had anything to do with judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative in poetry, then you need to have another think pretty quickly.

I am sure there are plenty of aficionados of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner to lead you down that particular path, but my suspension – accepting the premise of whatever is in front of you for the duration it is there – was on a more straightforward level.

Yes, I’ve been to Disneyland Paris.

It should be said at the outset that I love Mickey Mouse and the Magic Kingdom, all the rides – except, obviously, It’s A Small World – and the shows and parades, even those with their mind worming music. Suspending one’s disbelief there is so much more fun.

Just to back that up: On a two-week holiday in Florida I became agitated on the one day in 14 in which we didn’t visit the theme parks. I did question why on earth a rest day was factored in, but my complaints were brushed aside.

It set me thinking. What other global concern has so much reach and why has Disney cornered the market?

Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and McDonald’s may all rank ahead of the Mouse in lists of the world’s top brands, but none have captured the imagination in quite the same way.

We’re all touched by the computer giants whether we like it or not, but I can’t imagine anyone making a pilgrimage to any but the most local branch of the Golden Arches and Coke, well, that’s just a drink isn’t it?

Disney rules because everything (yes, even in France) is so imbued with the American service ethic that it runs like clockwork.

Can you imagine in this country that you would be able to drop your baggage at a railway station, enjoy a not inconsiderate number of hours in a theme park and then find your bags waiting for you at your hotel? Yes, the right bags and the right hotel, with none spilled open and no surly left luggage staff!

Of course you can’t.

Disney works so much like clockwork one could almost say it was mechanical, but the ‘magic’ counteracts that, as it does the fact that you know they are raking in millions and you know that things are particularly expensive. Somehow it doesn’t matter.

These great multi-nationals all influence our lives, as do the big ‘nationals’ in this country, but aren’t we glad there are enough independent companies out there to enable a choice to be offered.

We are lucky down here on the South Coast to have plenty of stand-alone businesses offering fantastic goods and services and not beholden to paymasters thousands of miles away.

Long may this remain the case. The scale of independence often changes over the years, but the principle persists.

Without our smaller businesses the world would be an unhappier place. We don’t always want a tall decaf, soy latte with an extra shot and caramel drizzle from a chain, a stupendous BOGOF deal in a leading supermarket or the same menu in every pub we visit (not that we visit pubs very often).

No, we sometimes want a simple coffee from a neighbourhood café, groceries from a decent independent shop (if you can find one) and home-cooked food served up in a beautiful country freehouse with roses around the door.

And the fact we still have small companies gives people a chance to dream, to believe they can become entrepreneurs or to build up their good idea from scratch –and one day become a multi-national.

But enough on business; let’s get back to the important stuff and one final question with regard to Disney…what kind of creature is Goofy?

Answers on a postcard.