Six Flags History
Founded in 1961, Six Flags is the world’s largest regional theme park company. The parks are located in, or near, 35 of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. The park mogul currently has partnerships with Coca-Cola, Papa John’s Pizza, Starburst, Henkel’s Hair Gels, Schwarzkopf 8, Johnny Rockets, Nintendo, Tyson Foods, Coldstone Creamery, and Toyota. Six Flags also has licensing deals with Warner Bros., Superman, Batman, and the characters from the Justice League.
The only pizza sold in the parks is Papa Johns, and the Six Flags Summer Concert Series is sponsored by Starburst – when you buy 2 bags of Starburst’s you gain VIP access to the shows.
Six Flags also has virtual theme parks both at SixFlags.com and in the game Roller Coaster Tycoon 2.
Six Flags has begun building Johnny Rockets in the majority of its parks, and plans to construct 21 restaurants by 2010. Johnny Rockets pays an annual sponsorship fee for its co-marketing venture with Six Flags. The restaurant receives advertising space at all Six Flags locations, while Six Flags advertises nationwide in Johnny Rockets diners and brands the food-chains’ kids menus. The companies send out co-branded email blasts and Johnny Rockets advertises Six Flags on their website.
In 2003, Michigan-based ad agency Doner Advertising won the $90 million Six Flags account. The agency created an ad campaign aimed at overscheduled, overworked consumers. Debuting in 2004, Mr. Six, an old man donning glasses, a tuxedo and red bow tie, and two-toned shoes, became Six Flags’ new Ambassador of Fun.
In the ads, Mr. Six drives up in a red-and-cream colored retro-style Six Flags branded bus, and dances to the Vengaboys’ hit “We Like To Party” with the tagline “Six Flags: It’s Playtime.”
The Mr. Six campaign is Six Flag’s first ad campaign in 7 years. USA TODAY’s Ad Track found that 39% of consumers familiar with the campaign enjoyed it, compared with the Ad Track average of 21%.
Six Flags extended the Mr. Six campaign by holding Mr. Six look-a-like competitions in the parks, selling over 5,000 Mr. Six branded t-shirts and promoting Mr. Six on morning talk shows. There are numerous parodies of Mr. Six on online video sites like YouTube.
When the Mr. Six campaign ended, it was released that Mr. Six was played by Danny Teeson from the television show Queer Eye For The Straight Girl.
In the beginning, six Flags created separate marketing campaigns for each individual park. Although recently the company has focused on singular, national ad campaigns, In 2009 Six Flags will roll out rotating-content video screens for patrons to watch while waiting in line that will change content for each demographic.
The video screens will show movie and video game clips as well as advertisements. The screens will have Bluetooth capabilities to enable downloads. The screens will serve to keep patrons entertained as well as to promote Six Flags’ advertising partners.
The advertisements will have the tagline “Worth the Wait,” and so far both Geico and Heinz have come fully on board. The screens are currently testing at various parks throughout the US.