Waterpark attractions maker WhiteWater West is rolling out a retro marketing campaign in a 1976 Dodge Aspen.
A print and digital advertising effort with a decidedly ’80s feel aims to inspire folks to reminisce about family road trips to waterparks and share those memories via social media using the hashtag #iheartwaterparks. Those memories are being aggregated at www.iheartwaterparks.com.
The campaign’s throwback aesthetic, seen in Regan era-inspired swag such as lunchboxes and long sleeve baseball T-shirts, is a nod to the company’s founding year – 1980.
Rather than center on WhiteWater’s products or services, the campaign sprang out of a desire to celebrate the industry as a whole, explained Jasmine Chin, the Richmond, B.C.-based firm's marketing and brand manager.
To drive home the message that waterparks are fun family getaways, WhiteWater won a bid for a well-preserved wood paneled station wagon on eBay. The vehicle gives the marketing push a “National Lampoon’s Vacation” vibe.
The Aspen came from a collector in New York. It only had 34,000 miles on it.
Chin got to take the woody on a mini road trip from San Diego to Palm Springs where it made its debut at the World Waterpark Association Show on October 20.
“The only thing that was a little bit terrifying was the steering because it was quite loose and would drift a bit,” Chin said.
But the wagon, nicknamed Olive for its forest-green shine, struck a nostalgic chord with show-goers.
“The perforated fabric roof liner really brought a lot of people back,” Chin said.
If you missed it at WWA, where WhiteWater earned the Best Booth Award, you’ll have another chance to relive the family road trips of your youth. Olive will be on display at the IAAPA Attractions Expo Nov. 17-20 at booth #2038.