Jun 29, 2009 at 08:10 PM
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Bumpy Ride: Car Co's & Theme Parks Fate Tied?

As the mercury rises and summertime interests become divided between pools, parks and family trips, advertising typically slows in traditional media. So what's a Mad ave media planner to do?

Kevin Downey of Media Life Magazine provides one answer in today's piece entitled "your client at the amusement park." While some of the industry's leaders are on a financial rollercoaster of their own (most namely Six Flags), Downey points out that there are plenty of sponsorship opps at the 400+ small and large amusement parks throughout America - many of which now have dedicated in-house media sales operations.

Here's a look at Six Flags' demographics from a 2008 investor presentation:


Downey completes a comprehensive inventory of opportunities and assets at most of the major parks. Some high interest categories he cites are products that require family buy-in/purchasing decisions and family-friendly consumer products that can be sampled on-site.

Second to real estate, autos are one of the biggest family purchases so it comes as no surprise that both GM and Chrysler have been in talks with major amusement parks. Last week, Chrysler renewed its deal with 10 Six Flags theme parks. The week prior, Disney and GM were in talks about renewing their $10mm/yr deal for the Epcot Test Track.

Something to think about as advertisers look for creative new ways to target family audiences and young adults throughout the hectic summer months. Have you partnered with an amusement park? Tell us about your experience!