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Six Flags Magic Mountain is a theme park based in Los Angeles, California. On May 21, 2009, Six Flags Magic Mountain announced the launch of its Terminator® Salvation™: The Ride roller coaster to coincide with the release of Terminator Salvation™, the fourth installment to the series and one of the most anticipated movies of 2009. The challenge for Six Flags Magic Mountain was to leverage the movie release of Terminator Salvation™ in a unique and compelling manner that would incite curiosity and ‘buzz’ around the launch of the coaster, as well as stimulate interest from the media.
Six Flags Magic Mountain aimed to generate widespread, top-of-mind consumer awareness for Terminator® Salvation™: The Ride through an integrated publicity campaign. The goal was to sync the launch of Terminator® Salvation™: The Ride with weekend debut of Terminator Salvation™ as a means promote the roller coaster as a major new “thrill” ride and a unique addition to the Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park. A secondary goal was to use the event to re-enforce Six Flags Magic Mountain’s commitment to providing better entertainment, better service and better value and to promote the Six Flags Season Pass.
Six Flags aimed to build momentum for the launch of the roller coaster through a carefully choreographed multimedia campaign that was timed to hit the day that Terminator Salvation™ premiered. The focus of the multimedia campaign would be to achieve a high level of impressions – both in traditional and online forums - as a means to generate publicity for Terminator® Salvation™: The Ride, draw visitors to the park and kick off its summer season.
The primary demographic for Six Flags Magic Mountain, and in particular the Terminator® Salvation™: The Ride roller coaster, is 12-24 year olds, followed by 25-34 year olds, of both sexes. In terms of psychographics, the target audience members are thrill seekers, who are likely to be active, adventurous people of all ages. Geographically, the key targets are California-based, although it is highly possible the audience could come from a wider geographic spread, given the vacation-destination nature of theme parks.
In order to portray the thrill of the ride and convey it most effectively to the target audience, Six Flags Magic Mountain needed to use a visual medium. They chose to work with MultiVu, a PR Newswire company, to develop a range of digital broadcast materials that could be employed for a variety of uses.
Before the official launch date, MultiVu worked with Six Flags Magic Mountain to develop a computer animated video for news media distribution, which Six Flags Magic Mountain then incorporated with embargoed information to create a hook for personal media visits leading up to announcement date. The teaser campaign targeted local, regional, national and select international media offering an advanced look at the ride via a Multimedia News Release (http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/sixflags/35226/) that incorporated the animation video and other ride facts targeted at the May 21st opening media event.
For the day of the coaster launch, Six Flags Magic Mountain staged a Terminator Salvation™ custom themed opening in-park media event that included local dignitaries and celebrities tied to the film and ride. Attending journalists from television, radio, print and online bloggers/media were given the unique opportunity to be recorded point-of-view and reverse point-of-view on the ride for immediate broadcast and distribution from the park to support opening day coverage.
On media day, MultiVu managed a multi-camera switched package to capture the opening ceremony and helped Six Flags Magic Mountain to service the on-site media with the live on-the ride video. A scripted video package and B-roll of the press event and ride footage were also made available immediately following the event and throughout the day to local and national media.
This footage, along with high resolution shots, were packaged into a Multimedia News Release (http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/sixflags/38253/) and sent out to the media via PR Newswire’s network for use in generating online attention directly to consumers as well as news media web sites. Momentum was kept alive by utilizing the Six Flags Magic Mountain web site, which hosted links to the video of the ride and Multimedia News release.
Television coverage included 164 airings on 153 stations in 106 markets with a total viewership of 6,675, 145 and a total value of $410,000. Online distribution included 4,650 hits, 2,890 downloads and 1,670 media outlets, for a total web audience of 5,894,246. The launch also received coverage in key print, trade and radio outlets.