Strategic Design | marketing & branding thoughts by Nick Rice

Dynamic marketing, branding & design strategies that span the gap between business & creative.


The $72M P&L rollercoaster

I learned that Six Flags spent $72,000,000 on Mr. Six, the dancing man. The ads score very well with the audience. Unfortunately, Six Flags reports that they saw NO increase in attendance or additional revenue. Doner Advertising created a huge stir with these ads (including a lot of rumors on who the actor was - a little birdie told me that it's a young woman in makeup), but after zero ROI, Six Flags has decided to drop the campaign. This is another example of mass market advertising not showing a return. Even though ad recollection and satisfaction were high, they did not entice anyone to actually go to the themeparks.

I cannot imagine being the CMO or VP of Marketing at Six Flags with my Board of Directors and CFO staring at the $72M hole in the P&L. He/she has to be running scared. I wonder who was driving the media mix choices. Did Six Flags run the show or did they rely too heavily on Doner? I wonder what they nixed in order to launch the massive TV campaign. They spread the media across a lot of different mediums (tv, outdoor, online, print, etc...), but I wonder if Six Flags knows which mediums worked best for the brand. I wonder what they will do differently next time. They are a brand in trouble. They haven't been profitable in eight years. The new CEO seems to have things on the right track, but sooner or later you have to get the word out that you've made improvement. You have to convince people to spend their hard earned cash with you. Rebuilding a struggling brand is tough. And I'm anxious to what they do differently this time.

1 Responses to “The $72M P&L rollercoaster”

  1. # Blogger David Wen

    Perhaps they should lower their ridiculous ticket prices of $30+ to better adapt to their ideal target audience of 12-25 year olds.

    There's a Six Flags fifteen minutes from my home in Bedford, TX.  

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