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Marketing Campaign
For many theatre organizations (both commercial and nonprofit), marketing and public relations
is a series of strategies and procedures in order to reach one goal – sell tickets. “The old way
doesn’t work anymore” is a common response by theatre artists and administrators when asked
how they can sell more tickets. Many factors, including new technologies, increased costs,
societal changes, etc., have changed how a marketing plan should be approached and/or
created. This concept, though, is not regulated to the theatre industry. The entire business world
has discovered that to get your product purchased (a theatre ticket, a bottle of perfume or the
latest iPhone), things need to change. New objectives are being added, previously unconsidered
actions are being tried out, and nontraditional steps are being taken.
Weeki Wachee is a Florida State Park attraction. Your assignment (as its new marketing
director) is to create a preliminary marketing plan for this “theatrical” product. Instead of Weeki
Wachee being a typical roadside attraction, it is now being resurrected as the “new” theatre
experience (it will open in Florida, down the road from Walt Disney World and Universal Studios,
but the producer has aspirations of making it a national “go to” experience). The main goal is to
sell this product to the customer.

first, determine who your core audience for this product is (since it may vary) and prepare a
series of objectives…those measurable and tangible results that allow you to say you’ve reached
your goal
then prepare a marketing strategy or plan detailing what steps you plan to take to fulfill those
Any number of things could be included in this plan, such as direct mail, social media, electronic
distribution (email, text messages), advertising, partnerships or sponsorships, viral or guerrilla
promotions, press releases, PSAs and media pitching, media appearances, press conferences or
any other idea that comes to mind.
For this assignment, budgetary restrictions or excessive expenses should not be considered (but
remember…don’t include in your plan a costly activity just for the sake of doing it, does it really
help you reach your goal?). Since originality and creativity is always encouraged, this assignment
can be completed in any format you prefer (written essay, poster board, Powerpoint, etc.). Please
be aware, though, of spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. This assignment will be graded
according to the Assignment 4 Rubric.
AmericanHentage com/ The Wacky World ofWeekl Wachee
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The Wacky World of Weeki Wachee
By Claire Lui
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There’s something all-American
about roadside attractions
–palaces of corn, Stonehenges
built from cars, mountains
carved with Presidents’ faces
Americans have a knack for
looking at a patch of nature and
asking how we can turn it into a
tour=st destination
My parents, both immigrants,
have always been baffled by the
Amencan love of kitsch They
prefer their nature without a
souvemr stand, and during my
cNIdhood vacations they
generally resisted my pleas to
turn off the Nghway to visit the Two mermaids wÿsh the President a happy birthday
In May 1963.
giant maize maze or the bulldyour-own-sandscape-ln-a-bottle (Bettmann/Corb]s)
Local Events
‘\ll Ill( ‘ÿ,N ll[11rDÿ’
lllJ(ll ‘ÿ,1 ll’LÿllJ
3ÿlÿNles Itÿ i’10rlclÿ k_ÿN=
stand Unfortunately for me, now that I am grown and able to plan my own vacations,
many of these American entrepreneurial wonders are floundering, and fewer and fewer
remain Lu Vickers and Sara DIonne’s new book, Weekl Wachee, C/ty of Mermaids:
A History of One of Florida’s Oldest Roadside Attractions (Umverslty Press of
Florida, 294 pages, $34 95), is a lush album of photographs and a detailed story of the
rise and fall of one of the wackiest American tourist spots
Florida, home to wetlands and dramatic weather, has always been a perfect place for
strange schemes Some, hke vast citrus groves, have been successes, and others, hke
selhng swampland as prime real estate, dÿsmal flops The idea of creating an
underwater theater with hve mermaid shows ranks somewhere m the middle of that
spectrum, and Weekl Wachee survived for many decades on a very simple premise
What if you could see a show about people hvmg underwater?
For the past 60 years, Weekl Wachee has showcased underwater revues full of
seemingly simple stunts But acts that are ordinary on land—eating a banana, dnnkmg
a soda–suddenly look magical underwater, and more than a few tourists, lured by a
giant NIIboard promising a mermaid show, have been willing to pull off the road and
stop at a small roadside theater on Florida’s west coast to see what Weeks Wachee
had to offer Once out of the car, the tourists “pushed through a turnstile,” the authors
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[1 Florida
[] Mermaids
[] Roadside
[] Weeki Wachee
I / The Wacky World of Weekl Wachee
http//www amerlcanhentage com!emall/artlcles/web/2007053 l-week..
write, “climbed down some steps, and entered what looked like a boxcar with windows
They took their seats on benches and peered out through the glass into the spring,
where local teenagers became mermaids and mermen They sucked breaths of
air from hoses and dove fifteen or twenty feet down into the spring, where, in perfect
silence and surrounded by schools of bluegill fish and turtles, they performed ballet
and fed pellets of bread they’d tucked into their swimsuits to the fish ”
American Heritage
June 1972
The mermaids, lured by the promise of nothing more than free hot dogs and
hamburgers for pay, were high school kids who wanted to have some fun All that was
required was to be a pretty girl with long hair and the ability to swim Not surprisingly,
the early owners of Weekl Wachee recruited from nearby high school swim teams and
synchromzed-swimmmg groups, thought the stren call of the place was so strong that
even girls who dtdn’t know how to swim would jump m for an auditton One of the
youngest mermaids, Penny Smith Vrooman, was just 14 when she started, and she
recalls that “they wanted voluptuous mermaid-looking people most of them wore
falsles, but that was just part of the deal” The authors make the attrachon seem
wholesome and fairly Innocuous, though the appeal of young, attractive girls writhing
underwater was sufficiently allunng that baseball players down m Flonda for spnng
training were reluctant to pose with the mermaids, because, as Weeki Wachee’s
photographer put tt, “their wives would see the pmtures m the paper and say, ‘Uh huh,
you’re down there hawng fun, aren’t youg'” Ltke Miss Umverse, who always made a
publIcity stop at Weekl Wachee during her reJgn, the mermaids were sexy but familyfriendly
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Budt around a natural spring, Weekÿ Wachee had water so clean and clear that many
audiences didn’t believe the mermaids were m water at all, they were conwnced the
teens were held aloft with wires behind a pool of fish Before long Hollywood came
calhng, and a number of movies were filmed at Weekl Wachee Celebntles including
Esther Wilhams and Elvis Presley came to pose with the mermaids (More recently,
Dick Cheney made a campaign stop in November 2000 ) In Weeki Wachee’s heyday in
the 1960s, the attractton was owned by ABC, and ABC invested substantially, building
a fancy theater that seated 500 people, wNch opened m 1960
WeekI Wachee’s downfall was the mighty mouse, Disney Like so many boardwalks,
midways, and crocodtle farms, the smaller vacation stop couldn’t compete with the
mamcured sprawl of Walt Disney World Weekt Wachee struggled on, even after ABC
sold the attractton, and subsequent owners allowed it to get shabby Local
developments poured fertihzer Into the spring that fed It, and the once-clear water
began to fill with brown algae But Weekl Wachee sNI lives, and it continues to offer
mermaid exhtNtions, including reumon shows stamng former mermaids, some in their
sixttes and seventtes
Vickers and Dionne gamed the cooperation of many former mermaids, and the book is
filled wtth personal and publtcity photos, capturing the wbe of weird fun that exfsts at a
great roadstde attraction There is an ethereal beauty to old photographs of mermatds
leaping underwater, and a sense of wonder m pictures of teenagers guzzling soda pop
wNle sitting on the bottom of the sea I had never heard of Weekt Wachee unttl I read
this book, and it made me want to wslt the mermaids wNle they sttll swim Maybe not
every dusty-shrunken-head attraction needs or deserves this kind of treatment, but the
authors certainly make a strong case for the mermaids of Weekl Wachee
–Clalre Lul/s a former edttor at American Heritage magazine
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