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Luke

Pusheen Gardens
Jul 20, 2011
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Williamsburg, VA
February 23, 2015 By Gregory Connolly

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion, prompting the parks to partner up on a marketing campaign to try to lure Northeastern families to Virginia for summer vacations.

The campaign received a $25,000 grant from Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program. That money will join funds from the parks, the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance and Richmond Region Tourism to pay for online advertising for the campaign, called Virginia Family Thrills 2015.

“There’s Orlando-quality experiences right here in Virginia,” said Dan Dipiazzo, the vice president of marketing for Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. “And that’s the key message to get across. We’re trying to reach family vacationers who want alternative that’s closer and more affordable to Orlando.”

The campaign’s message — that families in the Northeast do not have to drive more than 1,000 miles each way to have a blast at theme parks — will be front and center in online ads and social media posts displayed to people in the New York City and Philadelphia markets between May and July.

The ads will target family members who plan vacations in advance, with the goal of attracting them to the area for a visit that lasts several days.

“The summer vacation business is gold for everybody,” Dipiazzo said. “It’s more people staying longer doing more and splurging a little bit. That’s good for us, it’s good for hotels, restaurants and everybody else. That’s really what we’re going after.”

Online ads will be displayed to people based off their past search habits. So if they appear to be the kind of person who has a family and is looking for a place to vacation for the year, they will see an ad. There will also be ads displayed for anyone who visits certain websites, like TripAdvisor.

Dipiazzo declined to share how much money Busch Gardens would be putting up alongside the VTC grant, though he said the sum was “significantly more.” A news release from Del. Monty Mason (D-93) announced the partnership behind the campaign will contribute more than $100,000 to the effort.

“These grants show the importance of pooling our tourism assets in an increasingly competitive tourism environment,” Mason said in the release. “I am thrilled that our region will benefit from partners working together to bring more tourism dollars to Virginia.”

Though the campaign is a substantial ad buy, it is only a part of the overall advertising the parks will field for the 2015 season.

“We’ll still have a considerable amount of advertising that’s promoting Busch Gardens and Water Country USA,” he said. “That’s our dominant message. [The campaign] is an additional message for the people looking perhaps for a longer stay who might be more inclined to really want a theme park their vacation and try it all.”

Virginia Family Thrills 2015 will also include a joint ticket to both parks.

Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion both opened in 1975. With their 40th anniversaries falling in 2015, the two parks marketing departments began discussions of how to boost awareness in distant markets of the theme park offerings in Virginia, leading them to partner with the Alliance and Richmond Region Tourism to apply for the VTC grant.

The VTC Marketing Leverage Program offers grant funding to help local and regional tourism operations attract more visitors. McAuliffe announced a total of $773,000 in grants Wednesday.

“The Marketing Leverage Program grants give local tourism businesses the tools they need to succeed in an intensely competitive market,” McAuliffe said in a news release. “The grants facilitate community partnerships, smart business decisions, and dissemination of tourism success stories. This program is another example of how we can help build a new Virginia economy, providing good jobs for our citizens and revenue for our communities.”

VTC grants total about $1.7 million per year, with the local groups that receive matching the grants on a 3:1 ratio



Source: http://wydaily.com/2015/02/23/busch-gardens-kings-dominion-partner-on-marketing-drive?cat=localnews/
 
Dec 23, 2011
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RE: Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion Partner on Marketing Drive

This is pretty breathtaking. I would have never expected this. Honestly with how tourism in Virginia is going, this is probably the best thing to do right now.

I wonder how much a joint ticket is going to cost?
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
Advisory Panel
Feb 12, 2011
6,108
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RE: Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion Partner on Marketing Drive

This is actually a brilliant marketing move. It'll be especially good for bringing BGW visitors to KD, and vice versa, since there are a number of people out there who have probably never considered going to the “other” park. The advantages this holds for bringing more guests to both parks is overwhelming.
 

MAZ

Jan 30, 2014
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Richmond
RE: Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion Partner on Marketing Drive

I'll betcha Cedar Fair will sneak in a few lone 'Carowinds' ads here and there for their 50 mil investment.
 
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Ziva

fancy cafe latte
May 30, 2011
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RE: Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion Partner on Marketing Drive

JOINT TICKET JOINT TICKET
 
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wombat96

avid coaster enjoyer
Sep 20, 2013
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Virginia
www.youtube.com
RE: Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion Partner on Marketing Drive

This is great, I seriously could never imagine my two home parks teaming up. VA has always had ads that focus on one place and an ad that suggest travel in VA for vacation is a fantastic idea. Richmond and The Historic Triangle are both places I've lived in and it really makes happy to see some of my favorite places in VA team up. Hopefully we'll see more things from this like friendly park competitions and just saying, I would buy a duel park season pass in a heartbeat.
 
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MAZ

Jan 30, 2014
2,594
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Richmond
RE: Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion Partner on Marketing Drive

I can understand the desire for a joint ticket to the parks, but I seriously doubt that Cedar Fair would ever tie their name to SEAS in this way. Just saying.
 
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Jul 16, 2013
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Blacksburg, VA
RE: Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion Partner on Marketing Drive

Luke said:
February 23, 2015 By Gregory Connolly

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion, prompting the parks to partner up on a marketing campaign...

hell-had-finally-frozen-over.jpg
 
Aug 31, 2013
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Gainesville, FL
RE: Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion Partner on Marketing Drive

This is interesting to hear. Maybe Tempesto will be jointly advertised with KD 2015 Attraction? No joke, just to promote the "40th".
 
Aug 31, 2013
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Gainesville, FL
RE: Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion Partner on Marketing Drive

Thomas said:
Maybe they'll move Tempesto back and forth between the two parks every other week.

Or maybe, the ride is secretly something from a fair that is eventually going to be demolished...?

Humor at its finest...
 
Aug 19, 2013
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RE: Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion Partner on Marketing Drive

It would be nice to have a reciprocal admission program between the parks for those with passes. Similar to what a lot of the zoos have. I don't see this happening since my guess is that this will be geared towards those that don't have passes. I still think it would be nice.
 

APE

Mar 10, 2015
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RE: Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion Partner on Marketing Drive

I am the target audience as we are coming from out of town for both parks. I was hoping to find a joint ticket of some sort so i'll definitely be looking to purchase those.
 
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