View Full Version : Advertising: radio, tv, or roadside signs?

05-11-2008, 08:01 PM
A lot has changed in our industry within the last 10 years. Radio used to be the way to go for haunters to reach our target audience. Last year a haunt I'm associated with spent close to $15,000.00 on radio advertising with live remotes and hundreds of commercials. After all that, I still ran into many teenagers who did not know anything about the haunt. It seems kids these days, with their Ipods, MP3s, and internet, do not listen to the radio like we did years ago. We will increase our internet advertising campaign this year but we would like to find another avenue to reach this audience. If you have had success trying something else, I would love to hear about it. Thanks

05-14-2008, 08:15 AM
I know we had some success advertising on streaming radio online, sine it seems less people do listen to regular radio. Myspace worked out rather well too, simply by making lots of friends with the younger demographic and sending out bulletins about the haunt.

05-14-2008, 09:43 AM
Specialized advertising is definitely the way to go!

I just left the radio industry after a 10 year run as a personality and ops director...

Listenership is WAY down! With todays world being so on demand you'll be better off thinking outside the box and you'll save a lot of money that way as well...

I'm not saying don't spend any money on radio ads... but I don't think it would be wise to blow your advertising budget on it

Just my .02

05-14-2008, 10:08 AM
If you really want to get a feel for what works do your own poll. Ask people you know in your area how they get there info, Like were they hear new music , find out about new movies and local events. Every market is different. I work at a school with K - 8th graders and a high school right next to us , and when I talk to them it's not radio that they listen to. They get there info for the internet and TV. TV for us is the biggest thing we do and the most effective, THINK MOVIE TRAILERS

05-14-2008, 10:20 AM
How about advertising before the trailers at movie theaters? I know all my local theaters offer advertising packages, no idea how much they are, but it might be somthing to look into.

05-14-2008, 10:47 AM
We had looked into that a few years back and I think it was alittle high. But it also might matter what market your in.

05-14-2008, 01:11 PM
Specialized advertising is definitely the way to go!

What specifically do you mean by specialized advertising?
I spend a lot of money on radio. 15,000 isn't a lot to spend in most markets.

TV is something I am looking to spend more on but with so many channel options, it seems difficult to figure out where to target the campaign.
TV is expensive. Billboards are also very expensive. I did a few one year and didn't think it was worth while. Anyone else use them?

I did the movie theaters a few years ago. It's expensive considering how many people actually see it. The spots within 10 min. before the movie starts are impossible to get. Big companies like Pepsi get those. You end up running 20 or 30 min. before the start of the movie. Even if you are in 4 or 5 theaters with 10 or 12 screens each. I doubt it adds up to that many people seeing your add per dollar spent. On the other hand, movie goers are probably more likely to be haunted house customers. They do not allow you to pick and choose the movies you advertise in. At least in my experience. I dealt with Regal Cinemas.

05-14-2008, 01:42 PM
We use MTv , Discovery Channel, Spike, Travel Channel , Food Network , VH1 and we have also done ABC Family. ABC Family has a cool 13 night of halloween movie thing they do and we've sponsored it, it gave us extra commercials and some cool giveaways for our haunt. These channels have some big shows that have a large age range, they have been pretty good for us.

05-14-2008, 01:54 PM
Click-thru's!!!! They bring people who are searching for haunts in your area to you. Depending on how many companies have caught onto this in your area is how much you will spend. Usually around $0.08 to $0.25 per click-thru. You are actually paying that when someone clicks to your site.
Your demographic is in school. Find out how to get your haunt in there with them. School Newspapers, Drama seminars, Football games......down here in Texas Friday nights are huge. Have the annoucer talk about your haunt at halftime or at the end of the game.

05-14-2008, 06:04 PM
We have seen a spike in haunts advertising our custom commercials in movie theaters this year. Last year, it was mostly TV......but it looks like the tides have turned alittle.

Either way, TV or Theater.....you have to have a attention grabbing spot that will keep them in their seats. Fast paced, movie trailer style commercials are what we have switched over to and the clients and customers love them!

05-14-2008, 06:19 PM
The movie companies have done the work for us by designing a movie trailer formula that seems to be working really good for them. The haunt industry just needs to use that formula to sell their haunt to the customers. Our haunts are a visual experience and we need to convey what we have to offer the same way Hollywood does.

05-14-2008, 07:00 PM
Movie Ads- 30,000.00
TV (Local)75,000.00
TV (Cable)-60,000.00
New Paper-25,000.00
Internet , Mis Ads, ect- 9000.00
This is what Graystone spent last year so we covered all the bases. I am sure Larry probably spends more as hes in a bigger market. Just depeneds on where your at. Whats everyone's thoughts did I spend enough? Should I have spent more? I am thinking of doubling it this year somehow I feel I am not spending enough. Shane

05-14-2008, 09:28 PM
coffee just shot strait out my nose...Ha Ha

Damn inflation

05-15-2008, 05:10 AM

That is an expensive media market!

You are not skimping on marketing thats for sure.



05-15-2008, 07:17 AM
WTF did you buy Alabama ?

Jim Warfield
05-15-2008, 07:51 AM
Maybe I am victim to having a basic farmer-mentality? Plant a little "seed" watch it grow all by itself.
What "seed"? A really unusual, interesting performance for the money performed in a very strange haunted, haunted house.
Radio celebrities come to you, newspaper reporters seek you out for a story, TV productions call you looking for grist for their cable tv.
Yes, planting a seed takes time, years, but putting on a stellar performance leaves no doubt in that seeded little mind as to what and who they will be talking about and no amount of whiz-bang advertising will necesarrily leave such a powerfull residue .
Caller ID and having advanced reservations tells me where the customers are coming from and how ignored most ad money is.
When Rocky Horror(the movie) first got to New York they only had $3.98 left in advertising money! The experience, the oddness of the movie carried it, people kept returning , bringing friends.....
A website is the cheapest, best ad you can do right now, cheaper than those dam messy carrier pidgeons!

05-15-2008, 07:57 AM
We spent 359,000 dollars on carrier pigeons..

05-15-2008, 09:20 AM
Did that work for you? Man I never thought of that. Where can I get them I wanna try that you can never spend to much money on ads. I have been thinking of buying a pink elephant and having a ad painted on him. Shane

05-15-2008, 10:43 AM
How about cross promoting with competition. Anyone doing it, is it worth the trouble?

05-15-2008, 01:42 PM
Several years ago, another haunt and us got together and formed the North East Indiana Haunt Associaton (NEIHA). We did a trifold full color flyer with 13 of 14 haunts and events (at ten locations)within an hour of Ft Wayne, Indiana. Half were scare and half were family friendly events. If the customer went to five events, the sixth was free. Go to ten events, and the 11th was free. We were really worried how the free ones would land. But, after it was over, we had very few actaully claim a free ticket. We also had a free drawing at the end of the season. Only had a couple of them send them in. Each haunt had to validate the flyer with their individual stamp. The busiest haunt didn't like the validating as it took valuable time at their ticket window. We had 25,000 flyers printed and each haunt was given enough flyers to pass out. We did get a lot of great comments that the flyer was a great resource for event info. Had a website with all events having a page and a survey.

We then met and changed the marketing for the next year to a website, survey, and we decided to do a full page newspaper insert that used both sides full color. Each of the 12 of 13 events (at nine locations) again participated. The only event that opted out of it did put our flyer on the side of his ticket booth. I thought that was cool.

We had 250,000 printed. On the first Sunday of October, both Ft Wayne newspapers had them slipped 175,000 over the edge of the Sunday Comics. Another 65,000 were distributed in three other area newpapers. The last 10,000 were passed around at the haunts. Each haunt was was on a map that listed every event. Then each event had a coupon down one edge. Then there was other real estate left the haunts bought by the column inch. The biggest events bought a lot of the remaining and the smaller events bought what they could afford.

The promotion also had each haunt giving away mardi gras beads. Collect five sets and get the sixth event FREE again and trade in the five different colors for a SUPER set of beads. Many the got five beads didn't take the free ticket as they wanted to keep the beads they had. That meant that the $ 0.04 beads times 5 = $ 0.20. The super set was $0.65 each. They paid for a $ 7 - 9 ticket rather than give up the $ 0.20 in beads. DUH!

The customers loved the full page sheet as again, it was almost all inclusive of the haunt events, scary and family friendly in the area.

05-15-2008, 03:46 PM
I'm in the wrong market

Matt Marich
05-15-2008, 04:04 PM
There's always the old National Lampoon technique, buy this or we will shoot this dog..,

05-15-2008, 07:59 PM
is that just for your haunt? or does that include your retail marketing also? Are you willing to disclose aprox. how may customers you get per dollar invested?

Haunting Copy
08-07-2008, 01:10 AM
How are y'all tracking your efforts?

Are people answering the surveys/polls in sufficient numbers?