BUENA PARK, CALIF. – Amusement park Knott’s Berry Farm ended 12 years of fun and games for agency Davis Ball & Colombatto/L.A. last week when it moved its $6-7 million advertising account to Suissa Miller/Santa Monica, Calif.
The abrupt move reflects Knott’s search for a fix in a bad economy. ‘Suissa Miller promised results,’ said Bill Dayton, vp/marketing for Knott’s since November. ‘They had very results-oriented, hard-hitting creative, with an accountability factor that wasn’t there with the other agencies.’
It is believed that Suissa Miller will saturate the market next month with an unusually deep media buy. ‘Without giving away some of the initial ideas, the timing and the magnitude of an ad can have a cause and effect relationship, as opposed to (a campaign) that is spread out,’ Dayton said. ‘This campaign will clearly correlate to results, or the lack thereof.’
Dayton said he launched the review ‘because we needed to put some life into Knott’s Berry Farm, to give a wake-up call to Southern California.’ Dayton talked to six other, undisclosed Southern California shops – including DBC – and saw creative presentations from three. DBC didn’t return calls.
It’s been a particularly rough year for theme parks, as families have cut back on leisure spending and as inclement weather dampened sales for parks locally. According to Dayton, out of 65 revenue days so far this year, 20 have virtually been rained out.
Nothing’s dampening Suissa’s parade. The agency’s billings are up $8-10 million since December to $40 million.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)
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