The date of this press release announcing a new Six Flags BIZARRO ride at Great Adventure had us suspecting a clever April 1 gag but after checking around, we found this story in the Asbury Park Press and it’s the real deal! Apparently the theme of a new floorless ride at the park was a mystery for a long time, with a grand unveiling yesterday:
Appropriately, executives at Six Flags Inc., the parent company of Great Adventure, chose to unveil its new roller coaster theme and design on April Fool’s Day. And the announcement culminates a months-long viral marketing campaign that captured the fancy of thousands of Internet detectives and amusement park aficionados.
“It’s a way to get a buzz among coaster enthusiasts,” said Jim Futrell, author and historian for National Amusement Park Historical Association. “This did create quite a buzz.”
Since closing the Great Adventure and Six Flags New England theme parks last fall for the season, the company spent the winter months transforming the popular Medusa roller coasters. The company hired the innovative marketing firm 42 Entertainment to help promote the ride’s reopening.
Part of the strategy was to release clues to the new theme through Twitter, Internet blogs and chat rooms. Copies of The Daily Planet were inserted in weekly and daily publications in the eastern region. The Daily Planet, the newspaper featured in the Superman comics series — provided clues to the thematic transformation of the roller coaster.
The end result of the transformation was a closely guarded secret among park officials.
Internet viral game? Twitter? Daily Planet inserts? Where were we when all this was going on.
Although the story quotes folks endorsing the idea of “Bizarro” being an appropriate theme for a “a twisting, exciting roller coaster”, that’s a load of malarkey! Wouldn’t a BIZARRO thrill ride involve slippers, a comfy chair and a few episodes of Diagnosis: Murder? Come on. now.