Lucy and Charlie Brown with kids
December 27, 2019

Want to make mom and dad happy? Make their kids happy. Here’s how Hershey did it.

They call it the most wonderful time of the year for a reason.

While family members are preparing for annual gatherings and displays of generosity, brands are benefitting from the year-end uptick in consumer spending. Increasingly, however, those who are in the business of selling experiences rather than the kinds of goods that can be wrapped, tagged and placed under a tree are claiming a larger share of the gift market.

How so? By appealing to customers who are looking to make lasting holiday memories.

Parents of young children are a sizable—and influential—segment of this audience. These adults are always looking for the next family-friendly activity or opportunity to entertain their kids. By investing part of your marketing budget in “participatory, hands-on” experiences, you can reach these parents when and where they are most likely to form a positive impression of your brand.

When families are having fun, they are doing more than enjoying themselves. They are making memories and establishing traditions that can endure from generation to generation.

Our client Cedar Fair takes fun seriously. That’s why they’re always expanding their rides and attractions and maximizing the appeal they hold for kids, tweens and young families alike.

That includes thrilling rides like Valleyfair’s state-of-the-art Steel Venom inverted impulse roller coaster, iconic attractions such as the Wild West Stunt Show at Knott’s Berry Farm, and a multitude of special seasonal events such as the annual Fiesta Hispana, Oktoberfest, Halloween Haunt, and Winterfest.

Now entering its sixth season, WinterFest transforms five Cedar Fair parks from California to North Carolina into snowy wonderlands full of all that is merry and bright. WinterFest events aren’t limited to classic, holiday-themed activities, such as tree-lightings and caroling, either. Thanks to live entertainment and on-site brand activations, WinterFest attracts a broad audience.

Candy makers The Hershey Company got a taste of all that this unique promotion can deliver from Thanksgiving 2017 to New Year’s Day 2018. As a Cedar Fair partner and sponsor of both Kings Island’s WinterFest and Knott’s Merry Farm, Hershey garnered over 27 million impressions via a combination of in-park digital signage and branded video content aired on each park’s proprietary closed-circuit television network. Cedar Fair also presented the Hershey brand on website attraction pages, digital banners, season pass-holder communications, Wi-Fi ads, giveaways, park maps, and experience guides.

  • High-exposure holiday activities such as cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, live shows featuring beloved characters ranging from the Peanuts gang to Santa Claus and his elves, ice-skating, and multiple photo opportunities all showcased Hershey as the presenting sponsor.
  • Inside Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, Hershey products (Kissmas Trees and Reese’s Santas) were integrated into holiday displays,complete with recipe cards.
  • Digital signage located throughout the parks engaged guests while helping them navigate their holiday experience, all while prominently featuring Hershey.
  • HD television screens strategically placed at the park entrance, in ride lines, and in retail shops further increased Hershey’s brand exposure.

Across Cedar Fair’s coast-to-coast network of amusement and water parks, the company offers experiential marketing opportunities specifically designed to surprise, delight, and convert. That’s why individual park locations routinely over-index their markets with Millennials and Gen Zers, and by as much as 76 percent. Let us put you in touch with Cedar Fair’s extremely satisfied customers. Contact us today to learn more about how your brand can enjoy a happy holiday at Cedar Fair.