Momentum Gets Star Role in ‘KaTonga’

Busch Entertainment wanted a campaign that would be “evocative and not literal” for KaTonga, the most ambitious theatrical show ever produced at Busch Gardens, a client executive said.

Interpublic Group’s Momentum in St. Louis bested Omnicom Group’s DDB Chicago with storyboards that conjure an air of Broadway, said Linda Smith, vp of brand management at the St. Louis client.

The show premieres this spring at the Tampa, Fla., theme park. The campaign is set to break as soon as late March in Florida. It will also include radio, outdoor, print and cinema ads. Spending was not disclosed. Busch Entertainment, which also runs three SeaWorld parks and Discovery Cove in Orlando, Fla., spends about $15 million a year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Momentum proposed opening the ads with onscreen copy such as, “The music of a continent,” and, “The vision of Emmy and Tony award winners.” The spots would then give behind-the-scenes peeks of performers getting into makeup and costume and sets dropping into place, Smith said.

KaTonga is a showcase for African heritage and storytelling traditions. It has Broadway-caliber technicians, some from The Lion King, doing set design, lighting and costuming, Smith said. Floridians are being targeted first, but the campaign could expand to other markets, she said.

Momentum, which specializes in promotions and events marketing, has done work for SeaWorld and Discovery Cove. It also handles outdoor and promotions for several Anheuser-Busch beer brands.