NEWS: Thorpe Park targets children with new ride

Thorpe Park is spending more than pounds 1 million on advertising its latest spectacular ride in a bid to foil the threat posed by its nearest rivals, Chessington World of Adventures and the newly opened Legoland.

Thorpe Park is spending more than pounds 1 million on advertising its

latest spectacular ride in a bid to foil the threat posed by its nearest

rivals, Chessington World of Adventures and the newly opened Legoland.



Its counter-offensive is being built around the No Way Out ride, which

hurtles people backwards in total darkness at almost 30 mph. It has been

designed to appeal particularly to ten- to 15-year-old children.



A 40-second TV commercial, which was devised by Davies Little Cowley,

will run throughout the summer in a bid to maintain Thorpe Park’s family

appeal, which is now under attack from Legoland, and to stop older

children from being lured away to the white-knuckle rides at nearby

Chessington.



The pounds 200,000 film, which was directed by Ian Sharpe, who worked on

the James Bond movie, GoldenEye, features an SAS hit squad which finds

No Way Out to be its toughest challenge yet.



Media is being handled by Expert Media.



The ride’s name was devised by the agency’s creative director, David

Little, who produced the ad with his art director, Richard Tennant.



Both the ride and the commercial draw on computer imagery that is

familiar to most children. The hi-tech theme is reflected in the

commercial’s endline, which describes the ride as: ‘World’s first. Kid’s

stuff not.’



The film will run for ten weeks in the London, Central, HTV and Anglia

TV areas, from which the Surrey-based theme park draws most of its 1.4

million visitors each year.



Alan Randall, Thorpe Park’s head of marketing, said: ‘We have to

reaffirm our position in the family market, so the ten to 15 age group

is very important for us. Until now, they’ve fallen between children’s

rides at one end and the white-knuckle rides at the other.’



Don Cowley, the agency’s managing director, said: ‘Theme park ads used

to consist of just a video showing people enjoying the rides, but we’ve

managed to do something new and different.’