Busch Gardens to Try Branding

The first full-scale brand campaign for Busch Gardens in more than a decade launches Feb. 25 with two 30-second TV spots from DDB here.

Print and outdoor are also part of the mix in the tagless campaign, which pushes a message of togetherness through scenes of family and friends enjoying the park’s attractions.

“It’s not just about going farther. It’s about getting closer,” reads copy in one spot against the upbeat song “Loving Each Day” by Rowan Keating.

Busch Entertainment, the theme-park division of Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, hasn’t done an overall brand campaign for its namesake theme parks since the mid-1980s, concentrating in stead on promoting individual attractions as they were rolled out, said Michael LaBroad, Busch En tertainment’s vice president of corporate branding.

Busch decided to push the brand in an effort to soli dify perceptions of what the park is all about, with confusion largely stemming from its name. “We found that some people think it’s a botanical garden,” LaBroad said. “We wanted to promote the feeling of connection you get with family and friends when visiting the park.”

The ads are targeted at 20-to-40-year-old females, who do most of the vacation planning for family and friends.

There are two Busch Gardens, in Tampa Bay, Fla., and Williamsburg, Va. Past advertising has focused on specific attractions at the theme parks, including a June 2001 effort from DDB that promoted Rhino Rally, a combination of African safari and water ride.

Last year, Busch Entertainment spent about $10 million through November promoting Busch Gardens, according to CMR. The total Busch Entertainment outlay is $30-40 million. DDB splits the business with GSD&M, although Busch is currently seeking ideas from several shops for its SeaWorld parks.