december

Most roller coasters straddle the line between fun and scary. But some cross it. What makes the Xscream—the signature ride at Boomers Park in Dania, Florida—so frightening? It’s the highest wooden roller coaster in America, one mile straight up. “You have to practice screaming to get ready for it,” says Jordin Mendelsohn, executive creative director at Mendelsohn/Zien in Los Angeles. That’s exactly what the protagonists did in a two-spot campaign for Palace Entertainment, a company that owns more than 30 amusement parks across the U.S., including Boomers Park. In one ad, a man leans forward while another places wide strips of duct tape on his hairy back. When the tape is ripped off, the guy’s scream could set off nearby car alarms. In the other commercial, a teenager attaches jumper cables to a car battery and his friend’s nipple rings. That scream will make you want to crawl back into your mother’s womb. Was it fun thinking up twisted ways to inflict pain on people? Yes, says Mendelsohn. “We came up with lists and lists of things. Because we didn’t have a lot of money, we decided to keep the campaign simple, easy to produce and low-key. Quick and fast is usually the best way.” Targeted at a younger audience, the spots aired on Florida cable TV.