Six Flags Taps OgilvyOne for Interactive

Theme park company Six Flags has named OgilvyOne Worldwide to handle its direct and interactive marketing efforts.

“There is tremendous equity in the parks — and enormous customer loyalty to the Six Flags brand. Our first job is to help unlock the value of existing customer relationships through one-to-one marketing,” Michelle Bottomley, general manager of consulting and client services at OgilvyOne, said in a statement.

OgilvyOne will help Six Flags implement its strategy to increase company focus on customers and to increase mindshare for theme parks as local destinations for family entertainment. This is the first time Six Flags has chosen a dedicated agency for interactive duties.

Six Flags is also putting its creative and media accounts under review. The accounts have been held by Detroit-based W.B. Doner and Co. since August 2003, and the contract expires in June. Doner, which has been both criticized and lauded for creating the quirky, age-defying “Mr. Six” character, will participate in the review.

“In an industry where much of the advertising tends to look the same, Doner has provided us with out-of-the-box thinking that has successfully cut through the clutter to create real awareness for the Six Flags brand on a national level,” Mike Antinoro, Six Flags’ EVP for entertainment and marketing, said in a statement . “We’re now in the process of analyzing every aspect of our business, and we’re looking forward to Doner’s participation in the process as we investigate how to most effectively build on this awareness.”

Six Flags has gone through a near-complete management upheaval recently, beginning this fall with a proxy campaign by investor Dan Snyder, owner of the NFL’s Washington Redskins, to expel Six Flags’ CEO and several board members after an unsuccessful attempt to sell the company. Snyder was named chairman, and Mark Shapiro was named president and CEO in December. Three new directors were named in December, including film producer Harvey Weinstein, former U.S. vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp, and Michael Kassan, a brand development consultant and former president of Interpublic’s Initiative Media. Three more directors were replaced this week.

On Wednesday, the company announced the formation of a new entertainment and marketing division, to be led by Antinoro, formerly the executive producer of ESPN Original Entertainment, which is responsible for the network’s non-traditional sports and entertainment programming.

The new department, based in New York City, includes in-park entertainment, promotions, licensing agreements, advertising, communications and investor relations.

“At Six Flags, our mission is to surround the best rides in the world with entertainment from the fields of music, theater, sports, film and television,” Shapiro said. “We want to be about more than rides — Six Flags must be about a wider, more fulfilling experience. We also look forward to recharging our broad relationship with Warner Bros. through such great brands as Looney Tunes and DC Comics.”

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