Stone & Ward Doubles Magic Springs’ Pleasures

Playground quarrels and a beauty salon catfight are featured in Stone & Ward’s new television spots for Magic Springs & Crystal Falls amusement park.

The contentiousness is due to a fundamental point of difference: which is better—a water park or a theme park?

In one 30-second spot breaking June 11, elderly ladies sitting under hair dryers at the beauty salon debate the issue with a ferocity that devolves into water throwing and insults. In another ad, children gather around playground combatants who push and shove to defend their favorites. Both commercials end with a call to have it both ways by visiting Magic Springs.

“It’s a little different for its category,” said Millie Ward, president of the Little Rock, Ark., agency. “One of the things we have to do during the summertime is compete for people’s discretionary dollars.

“Most of the time [amusement park ads] are just offering a bunch of rides,” she continued. “We wanted to … provide a platform that pulls you in a little more and stands out.”

The campaign marks the second year the agency has produced advertising for Magic Springs. The family center reopened in 2000, after a hiatus of five years, under new ownership and with the addition of the water park facilities. The park is located in Hot Springs, Ark.

This year’s television, radio and outdoor advertisements will build on last year’s theme of “Two parks in one, twice the fun.” Outdoor boards tout specific park attractions such as Dr. Dean’s Rocket Machine, the newest ride.

Media spending for the statewide advertising campaign was not disclosed.

“In the ‘Tastes great! Less filling!’ tradition, this campaign allows viewers to line up to take sides or just enjoy the fun,” said agency executive creative director Larry Stone.