Busch Gardens Tampa’s Howl O Scream Knows How to Market – My Blog

Busch Gardens Tampa’s Howl O Scream Knows How to Market


I know that I tend to talk a lot in my tutorial section about what you shouldn’t do when marketing something creative, but this time I’m going to give you a terrific example of what you should do.

To fully illustrate the impact of this, I need to give you some background about me. I went to Universal Studios Florida’s Halloween Horror Nights for the first time last year and fell in love. USF has the budget and creativity to always put together a great event, so at that time, I intended to follow only HHN, and was not interested in the smaller HoS event at Busch Gardens.

Don’t get me wrong – I still love HHN and I know this year’s event will be super awesome, but their marketing hasn’t really done the trick to get me thinking and wondering about this year’s universe. I am a huge, rabid, foaming at the mouth SAW fan, so I am psyched to see the SAW house, but that is pretty much it.

This year, Busch Gardens Tampa’s Howl O Scream has it going on! We have a company here that truly understands two often overlooked things:

1. When you are smaller, you need to innovate.

2. Social media is about conversation. It isn’t about you, it’s about the fans.

They brought this year’s icon to life via the twitter account @MsVayne. At first, you find out that she is a fashion designer with some odd hangups, but not much more.

@HOSInsider also talks about the event, but serves to try and expose her for the monster she is. If you are subscribed to both, it can be very entertaining to watch the two of them go at it.

This is key – they reply to people. They talk to people. Yes, even to you and me. How many people go on twitter and talk to their navels? Too many. I routinely unfollow people who never reply to me because it becomes pointless after a short while. At best, you become bored. At worst, you feel slighted.

These folks know that you are their welcomed guest, so they treat the fans with respect and interaction.

Then there are the contests. A devious way to get their teaser videos out to the public is to post them in character on twitter and give free tickets away to the 31st person to retweet it. (Retweeting is quoting their tweet and sending it out to your twitter followers.) They do these at random times during the day.

Picture your average person who is bored in their office or school. This kind of thing can become really fun quite quickly! At first I wasn’t going to go to HoS. Now I really want to go. the best part about this kind of marketing is that it shows that they must really love what they do. They may not have the budget that Universal Studios has, but they sure as hell will put on an event that is just as fun.

I have never even gone to this thing and I am sure of that.

Holy crap while I was writing this they just cut over their site to what appears to be an interactive adventure game.


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5 responses to “Busch Gardens Tampa’s Howl O Scream Knows How to Market”

  1. This will be my 13th HHN and my 8th HO. I have seen the change in the 2 events and HHN has gotten to the point of so big and so out of control they are not what I remember my first few years. On the other hand HOS has only got beeter and better and it looks like the 10th anniversary is going to be there real coming out party.

    I think you will enjoy yourself and let me recommend the Fright Feast it is a great deal and gets you in the park ahead of most everyone, and unlike HHN opening a couple of houses early HOS opens them ALL early.

    • I love both HHN and HoS, but I can totally see what you mean about HHN being big and crazy. 🙂 My first year was last year…luckily I went on a Sunday.

      You are the 3rd person to tell me to get Fright Feast… I am SOOOO going to do that. 😀 It’s actually quite cheap for what you get, I think. I found HHN to be on the pricey side…I couldn’t justify the RIP pass.

      I can’t wait to get photos of both of these events!! 😀

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