AOL, Six Flags Use E-mail in Cross Promotion

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A summer-long partnership between America Online and Six Flags Theme Parks Inc. heats up next month when AOL Moviefone sends Moviemail e-mails to its 300,000 subscribers promoting Six Flags and its movie-themed sweepstakes.


Six Flags will use AOL's Moviefone site to advertise its parks, thinking that fans of summer movies are ideal candidates to visit amusement parks. In return, AOL will distribute promotional material at Six Flags parks.


Debbie Nauser, vice president of public relations at Six Flags, New York, said Six Flags and AOL Moviefone have a similar demographic.


"We felt that their audience is our audience," she said. "Moviefone has a lot of teens, but also has a lot of moms and dads that surf there."


Sixty percent of AOL Moviefone users are ages 18 to 34 with annual household incomes of more than $50,000, said Fran Hauser, vice president of product management at AOL Moviefone, New York.


"The package targets moviegoers who love action-adventure movies and encourages them to find real thrills at different Six Flags amusement parks," Hauser said.


The campaign centers on six action-adventure releases: Warner Brothers' "Swordfish," starring John Travolta and Halle Berry, which debuted June 8; Paramount's "Tomb Raider," which stars Angelina Jolie and opened last week; 20th Century Fox's "Kiss of the Dragon," starring Jet Li and Bridget Fonda, which opens July 6; MGM's "Original Sin," which stars Jolie and Antonio Banderas and opens Aug. 3; Warner Brothers' "American Outlaws," starring Colin Farrell, which opens Aug. 17; and Screen Gems' "John Carpenter's Ghost of Mars," which stars Natasha Henstridge and Ice Cube and opens Aug. 24.


Six Flags will run a sweepstakes at the AOL Moviefone site. Coinciding with the release of each movie, Six Flags will award three winners four free passes each to the Six Flags park of their choice. The first sweepstakes giveaway for the release of "Swordfish" on June 8 drew several thousand entries.


Online, AOL Moviefone is running banner ads and e-mails to build awareness around the campaign. Banner ads on the company's site drive visitors to a promotional Web page that features information about the sweepstakes and the new rides at Six Flags parks. Ads also are running on other AOL sites, including AOL Entertainment, Netscape and CompuServe, Hauser said.


Additionally, AOL Moviefone is set to debut a content-based, e-mail newsletter Wednesday, Hauser said. The weekly newsletter will feature a subscriber-benefits section that would be used to promote the sweepstakes.


The HTML and text e-mails will provide links to drive people to the Six Flags Web page on the Moviefone Web site, moviefone.com, Hauser said.


Finally, AOL Moviefone will use its telephone channel to build awareness for the campaign, Hauser said. Callers who dial 777-FILM will be greeted by an ad that will attempt to drive them to the Web site, she said


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