Cedar Fair hires firm to manage marketing partnerships

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company today announced its hiring of The Kempton Group (TKG) to market and sell partnerships for its 18 North American parks.

"Partnership Marketing is a growth segment for our business," said Jack Falfas, Chief Operating Officer. "We reach more than 22 million consumers who represent an attractive market to many brands around the world. In tandem with TKG, we will build ideas and programs that will deliver value to many business segments."

The growing "out-of-home," alternative media channels that Cedar Fair parks offer will allow consumer brands and service companies to get face to face with a diverse audience driven by young people ages 12-24 and families 25-49. Cedar Point, its flagship property in Sandusky, Ohio, has been named the best amusement park in the world for the last ten years. Knott’s Berry Farm, America’s first theme park, has been a staple in the Los Angeles area since 1928.

Read the press release on PointBuzz.

Link: PointBuzz

Jeff's avatar
Lord Gonchar's avatar

So is SF making all the right moves (at least as CF sees fit) or is CF just following their lead because they have no idea what to do?

Or is this exactly what you have to do with the business these two companies have (collection of large regional parks)?

Don't give Six Flags credit. Six Flags is just copying Regal Entertainment Group headed by one of Dan Snyder's buddies - Philip Anschutz.

Regal CineMedia was started to market to the in theater audience at Regal Entertainment Group's cinemas. It began as the video marketing presentation called the Regal 20, which has since changed to a new name. Other major chains like AMC Theatres have partnered with Regal CineMedia.

My beef with Regal Cinemas is the fact that ticket prices have gone up and so has the amount of commercial advertising. Thus I'm basically paying more money to watch advertising. If they want to play all of these tacky commercials and ruin the showmanship of cinemas then it should at least offset the admission price by some.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

If they want to play all of these tacky commercials and ruin the showmanship of cinemas then it should at least offset the admission price by some.

Maybe it has?

rollergator's avatar
CF = B&M. Tried and true, trusted and tested. Predictable even. Sure, they may tweak an existing strategy from competitors, but in general they're going to go with what's been shown to work, and avoid those things that have proven to be failures. No major gambles, no major losses.

SF, on the other hand, is more like Intamin. They take big gambles....more often than not, they end up like the "whales" at AC or Vegas....skinned and fileted. ;)

Movie admission prices have risen 30% to 100% in the past ten years depending on the type of ticket. The quality of the product shown on the screen has declined and the amount of advertising the customer is subjected to has significantly increased. You can't even take a leak at Six Flags or Regal Cinemas without having an ad pushed in your face.
Certainly. However, in the absence of those advertisements, ticket prices would be even higher. The money has to come from somewhere.
Lord Gonchar's avatar
That's what I was getting at, Brian.

Perhaps without the ads the movie admission prices would have risen 50% to 150%?

Magnum XL (200) sponsored by Trojan!
That's not necessarily true since there are still theaters out there who do not have on-screen advertising and many of those theaters have the same or lower ticket prices.

Box office revenue is shared with the studio, but concession and advertising revenue is not shared. Ad Revenue actually amounts to a very small portion of the overall revenue of a cinema, but the resulting decline in the quality of the moviegoing experience is huge. Consumers in more than one way have expressed their displeasure with on-screen advertising and have gone so far as to file lawsuits against several cinema operators.

I go to the movies far less than I used to and largely because of higher ticket prices, annoying on-screen advertising and an excessive amount of trailers before the feature.

My point is that theme parks need to be careful that they don't over advertise and market to their customers. Theme parks are supposed to be an enjoyable experience and paying to watch advertising is annoying. Six Flags is in my opinion about to push the limit too far.

So yes, I'd rather pay more for admission and season passes than be subjected to advertising. The same logic is true for movies, however cinemas have already applied that premium since the cost of a movie ticket has risen faster than the cost of other comparable forms of entertainment. So basically, you're getting screwed by significantly higher prices and annoying advertising.
*** This post was edited by egieszl 7/22/2008 2:10:51 AM ***

^The solution to not seeing advertising at a theatre is simple. Don't get to the showing that you want to see until 15 minutes after the posted starting time.

Problem solved.

Every major theatre company shoves the advertising down your throat, not just Regal.*** This post was edited by Chitown 7/22/2008 4:40:50 AM ***

You know, I don't go to a ton of movies, but I've been there 2 or 3 times in the past few weeks (chalk it up to the good summer movies), and really, are the ads that offensive? So you have to sit through a couple ads before the movie starts. It's not like they're interrupting the movie to show commercials.
kpjb's avatar
Don't watch. Go with friends and talk to them. Sheesh.
Advertisements before the movie previews bother me because they're a waste of time. Instead of movies starting after 10 minutes of previews, they now start after 5 minutes of ads and about 10 minutes of previews. Getting upset over 5 minutes may sound ridiculous to some, but considering how much is spent going to the movies and how much advertising is thrown in my face during the whole experience, I don't think I should have to waste that additional five minutes. I would be equally upset by paying what I pay for HBO and having something interrupted by advertisements. By paying for a prenium service, there reaches a point when enough is enough.
Jeff's avatar
Am I the only one who enjoys the Cinemark First Look and the previews?
I enjoy previews, always have and always will. I don't appreciate advertisements for Mountain Dew and the Toyota Yaris. That's the kind of stuff I have to sit through while watching network TV, and the fact that stuff wasn't present on premium cable made it that much easier for people to deal with the cost of the service.
As long as I have a large popcorn, a Coke, and a good seat for the movie, I'm good. A couple of commercials (which previews technically are) are classified as small stuff in my book, and I don't sweat the small stuff.

What would really piss me off is if the movie sucked. :)


Lord Gonchar's avatar
I guess I'm just not as offended by advertising as some. It's so ubiquitous in today's society that I often don't even notice it or have learned to just gloss over it.

For the record, I don't go to the movies hardly at all. I can't see the couple of ads before the movie as being much more offensive than all the paid product placement in the movie itself. (That is to say - not very)

And aren't the previews themselves just advertising...for future movies? What's the difference between having to sit through the commercial for some stupid movie that I'll never watch and sitting through a commercial for some stupid car I'll never buy?

I think advertising is one area where it's going to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better. To put it bluntly, "You ain't seen nothing yet!"

As far as the parks go, just about every park has some form of advertising - even if it's the small parks with the Wal-Mart ad above or below the big park map. Plus, the parks aren't sharing revenue with anyone like the theatres. I still don't know how the big parks are able to let people in for $40.

I dunno. Like I said, I don't have the same aversion to advertising that some people seem to.

No, showing up 15 minutes after the posted start time is not the solution. You risk having a horrible seat location and you end up feeling so rushed.

I can clearly see that many of you have become so accepting of advertising and that's sad.

I don't mind advertising on television because it pays for the cost of producing the show. However, advertising in cinemas DOES NOT pay for the cost of producing the movie. That comes from the price we pay at the box office.

The experience of going to the movies has been ruined by advertising. Instead of being able to talk to friends prior to the show you're subjected to a show like Regal CineMedia's "First Look" which shows at Regal Cinemas, AMC Theatres and Cinemark and is often so loud you cannot talk over it. Plus, "First Look" is purposely front loaded. The content portion primarily runs in the first 5-8 minutes and then it is ad, ad, ad, ad, ad for the remaining 20 minutes with very little substance between.

Getting back to theme parks. I visited Fiesta Texas two weeks ago and went on the Scooby Doo ride. Well Six Flags has placed a plasma tv in the indoor queue and the sound of course was annoyingly loud. What's worse is the advertising plays over the custom soundtrack for the Scooby Doo queue, which you can no longer hear. Can you imagine sitting down for It's A Bugs Life at Disney only to be subjected to a couple of ads before the show? It ruins the experience.

I don't mind the corporate sponsors with their logos on the ride signs. I don't mind the sale of specific commercial products in the food & beverage departments like Ball Park franks and Papa John's pizza. I don't mind the coupon hand out at the end of the day. I don't mind the Wii sponsored showcase at Six Flags. However, I do mind a television sitting in the queue that is unrelated to the attraction showing advertising! I don't pay to watch advertising and neither should you.

Based on the responses to this news piece I'm beginning to think that our society is being so dumbed down that I could actually start a business where I could charge you to watch advertising. That's retarded. Please tell you folks aren't going to start watering your plants with Gatorade in the near future.
*** This post was edited by egieszl 7/22/2008 2:10:10 PM ***

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