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Six Flags Magic Mountain is a theme park based in Los Angeles, California. The theme park has been in operation for more than 45 years and is world famous for offering thrill seekers a plethora of adventure options. On May 13th 2006, Six Flags launched the TATSU roller coaster, a “flying beast”, soaring in the record books as the tallest, fastest and longest flying coaster on earth.
Riders fly at speeds in excess of 62 miles-per-hour through a series of plunges, huge sweeping spirals, stomach wrenching loops and sharp dives, high speed banked curves all deliberately designed to enhance the ultimate sensation of flight. The two-minute flight faces a dramatic 263-foot change in elevation from its highest peak to inches off the ground, and spans four separate areas of the Park.
The challenge for Six Flags was how to communicate the thrill of the ride to its target audience in a way that would incite curiosity and create ‘buzz’ around the launch, as well as stimulate interest from the media.
Six Flags aimed to generate widespread top-of-mind consumer awareness for the TATSU through an integrated publicity campaign.
The aim was to promote the roller coaster as a major new “thrill” ride and a unique ‘flying’ experience, and to reinforce the message that the Tatsu set a new Guinness World Record as the longest, fastest and tallest flying coaster in the world. A secondary message would be to convey that the Magic Mountain theme park has the most roller coasters in one Park.
In addition, Six Flags wanted to further develop its identity as the undisputed thrill capital of the world.
In terms of publicity, Six Flags aimed to build momentum from the announcement of the construction of the TATSU through to the official opening, and then to sustain the momentum during the year through multiple publicity opportunities and events.
The outcome of the media program would be to achieve a high level of national and regional television media coverage.
In order to portray the thrill of the ride and convey it most effectively to the target audience, Six Flags needed to use a visual medium. They chose to work with MultiVu, a PR Newswire company, to develop a variety of live broadcast opportunities for television networks and stations.
The integrated broadcast and multimedia publicity campaign utilized B-roll video news footage as part of a Video News Release, a Satellite Media Tour, and a webcast.
Six Flags, with the help of MultiVu, conducted Satellite Media Tour interviews - a live press junket allowing targeted broadcasters the chance to send a reporter to the media day launch and broadcast live-on-the-ride back to their stations multiple times throughout day, creating an amazing broadcast news experience for both the reporters and television viewing audience.
Various park spokespeople, an astronaut, a renowned roller coaster historian and coaster enthusiasts were made available to the media, as well both on-site for live interviews via satellite. In addition, the press conference was broadcast live via satellite to stations in support of the SMT efforts.
For stations unable to participate in the tour, generic interviews were broadcast via satellite, digital delivery and MPEG2 video feeds upon request. Pre-produced on-the-ride B-roll was also used to support the tour when appropriate.
Numerous live television reporter segments were re-broadcast on station websites in support of the media launch.
Television - 95 Airings, with a total viewership of 22,729,301 and a total ad value of $1,374,000.
National and local television hits included Telemundo, Univsion, KABC Los Angeles, KTTV Los Angeles, KVEA Los Angeles, KCBS Los Angeles, KTLA Los Angeles, KCAL Los Angeles, various San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Palm Springs stations in addition to national airings on Fox News Channel, Inside Edition, WPIX New York, WNYW New York and many others.
The result was an enormously successful launch for TATSU – the longest, fastest and tallest flying coaster in the world.