Mr. Six ads score well for Six Flags

Posted Monday, July 12, 2004 10:02 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The "Mr. Six" ad campaign is proving to be a real hit for Six Flags. The "elderly dancer" is highly recognized, is making television appearances and is selling merchandise at the park. The company hopes the ads lead to a boost in otherwise soft attendance.

Read more from USA Today.

Monday, July 12, 2004 10:05 AM

"We were trying to figure out why we've been so soft over the past couple of years," says Hank Salemi, senior vice president of marketing for Six Flags. "People are very overscheduled."
That guy should be fired. Your attendance is soft because the service at most of your parks sucks!

Brilliant ad campaign, it really is, but to keep people coming back, that fundamental change in attitude that has been talked about in other news articles has to be real.

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Monday, July 12, 2004 11:03 AM
To be fair, he may actually know that. But, the VP of marketing is probably not about to be quoted as saying "we need to fix our broken customer service." in what has (sadly) become the nation's "news"paper.
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Monday, July 12, 2004 11:14 AM
I agree with Brian...If he said what you wanted him to say, Jeff, he _would be_ fired...
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Monday, July 12, 2004 11:53 AM
I will say this...

I am NOT a Six Flag's fan, and when I watch TV, I usually hit the "MUTE" button on commericals...

HOWEVER...

When ever I see a commercial with "Mr.Six", I will keep the volume up and watch.

Has it enticed me to go back to Six Flags? No, not really... but it has at least gotten my attention.

Of the Six Flag's parks I have visited (only three... SFA, Darien Lake, Great Escape), the only park where I DID NOT find the customer service to be bad (employees were competent at best, "not rude" at worst... though I wouldn't call anyone outstanding) was Darien Lake. After two visits to SFA and one to Great Escape, it is (as was stated above) the poor Customer Service is the reason why I am in no hurry to get back to a SF park.

Does the "old man" and his little dance get peoples attention? Certainly. It has gotten mine. But will it get repeat business? Hmmmm... I don't think so. Good in the short term (first time visitors)... but not effective in the long term if the Customer Service is not improved.

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Monday, July 12, 2004 11:59 AM
It just seems like they are going for the teens. Perhaps that's why they don't care about customer service.
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Monday, July 12, 2004 1:46 PM
Amazing what people consider good dancing these days :)

I think I like the music more that anything else....

I was at the movies and they showed the commerial (when did they start showing commercials at the movies?!?..heh!) The kids laughing and dancing to the music. I guess they achieved their goal.

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Monday, July 12, 2004 2:25 PM
Except for SFGAM, i would agree with janfrederick!!!!
I find the commercials annoying, the song irritating and these commercials which are shown ad naseum in Wisc. to give me no reason to go to any six flags park.
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Monday, July 12, 2004 2:27 PM
I thought its a very good commercial that I always stop to watch. But you will not see me in a Six Flags... ever.
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Monday, July 12, 2004 3:24 PM
This is incredibly effective marketing. Everyone is talking about it, and now Six Flags has a face that people associate with them, and a look with the retro bus and a catchy song.

I have no doubts of the effcetiveness of the ads when the song is played at a Six Flags park...the crowds go crazy. They hear the song and immediately get into the whole "playtime" spirit the ads create.

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Monday, July 12, 2004 3:25 PM
If you honestly believe that *all* SF parks "don't get it", then you're just going to the wrong parks in the chain.

Five parks in the chain that I can name off the top of my head that were run well enough to make me want to come back: SFGam, SFStL, SFoT, SFFT, SFoG. Is is merely a coincidence that THREE of those five were *original SF* parks....I don't THINK so...

But the facts remain: 1) This IS a darn good advertising campaign. 2) It IS likely that SF will see an increase in first-time patrons. 3) These NEW patrons will visit EXACTLY one time if they leave disappointed with their visits. 4) SF *earned* this "short leash" by disappointing MANY many patrons in the past. 5) SFGAdv and SFMM are the best *predictors* for how the chain is doing as a whole, and stand the MOST to gain from increasing customer satisfaction.

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Monday, July 12, 2004 3:53 PM
Six Flags as a CHAIN doesnt GET IT. I havent had the opportunity to visit any of the parks you mentioned, but I will always have a negative opinion about the chain until it gets better. The only reason I even have a Six Flags season pass is because of Geauga Lake and SFWoa. There is no way I would ever pay to get into SFGAdv this coming weekend if it werent for the pass I allready paid for.

I had a seriously bad, not coaster geek there were no sweepers bad. But a bad experience at SFGadv last year. And this was after a series of pretty sad Six Flags parks. When I was going to write a letter to the Six Flags chain to tell them about my first experiences with a number of their parks I hit a wall and realized there is no real way to do so.

Thats the attitude that needs changed.

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Monday, July 12, 2004 4:58 PM
I never really had a problem with six flags customer service, xcept when I went to SFGadv last week. Seems like the dont give a hoot about people, especially at the gate. Kinda sad to say this is my home park. But some parks are cool, like SF Astroworld and the former SFWoA. Im planning trips to SFNE, Great Escape and SFA. (Got the season pass obviously)And, from what ive been reading here, im expecting the worst customer service-wise. By the way, Hersheypark rocks and StormRunner's awesome!
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Monday, July 12, 2004 5:09 PM
To say that all Six Flags parks are bad, is like saying all GM cars are bad. There are some clunkers no doubt, but there are some really good ones also. I just visited SFNE over the weekend, and had an incredible time. The rides for the most part were incredible (true, three of them were non-operational, but I knew about two of them ahead of time), and the staff was very professional. The only rude person I encountered was a lady who got upset because the poor ride op on Nightwing couldn't give her an exact estimate of how long it would take to get the ride back up and running again (as a ride op, you never give an estimate to a patron. By the way, it reopened in 20 minutes). The pizza we ordered was pan style (which we didn't know), and it was already sliced, unlike the mess of a pizza we got at Hersheypark last month. And to boot, it tasted great!
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Monday, July 12, 2004 5:12 PM
coy said :

"I never really had a problem with six flags customer service, xcept when I went to SFGadv last week................But some parks are cool, like SF Astroworld and the former SFWoA"

Does not compute!. You done lost your credibility with those sentences.

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Monday, July 12, 2004 5:14 PM
STOP THE PRESSES! No one said "all of the Six Flags parks are bad." We all know there are exceptions, myself included. We all may generally like SFGAm, but it's the exception, not the rule. That's why so many people have given up on their parks.

I don't think they're trying to just hit teens with the ads. According to the article, it gets a strong response from adult women.

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Monday, July 12, 2004 8:23 PM
I used to think it was the worst ad campaign ever, dismissing it as stupid, and not what was best for their image, but despite my view on it, I'm glad it was successful for them.

I thought what they needed was to make it look as clean and family oriented, perhaps, suggesting they are trying to improve image, customer service, etc. The dancing old guy said none of that to me.

My friends (non-enthusiast) don't go back to Six Flags because the "rides were always broken, overpriced everything, bad employees, dirty", etc. To win them back it will take more than the old guy, despite many of them thinking the commercials are cool.

Of course, this is all coming from the guy that thought this years Quizno's (highly successful!) ad campaign was the single stupidest commercial ever on telivision, so what do I know! :)

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Monday, July 12, 2004 10:01 PM
My comments about all Six Flags being bad weren't directed at you Jeff, they were directed at the person who said they'd never be caught in a Six Flags. Obivously you hold events at SFGAM.
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Tuesday, July 13, 2004 4:21 AM
Peabody: I've learned that sometimes the most ridiculous(Did I spell it right this time?;) commercials are the ones that work. People see how radical and different they are, and that product is in thier head for a long time until they finally decide to try the product out. I personally wish SFI would take note of good look at a couple other smaller yet cleaner/friendlier chains that are doing much better.

They should really take the wal-mart approch: pay employees as little as possible but make them feel like they are important and brain wash the employees into being happy all the time;).

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004 9:39 AM
I think that the ad is genious, but as usual, it will be over used and will become stale.

***side note***

Jeff, I find it interesting that you are bashing SF and saying they suck, when none of us are allowed to say any such thing. I think you should keep to what you preach, or are you a do as I say, not as I do kind of person?

Just curious.

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