Since 2007, Hersheypark has done a number of online marketing games to promote new attractions. Typically these games have teased and given clues about whatever new ride(s) were to be installed for the following season. A notable exception is the game promoting Skyrush; that game began in October 2010, nearly two years before the roller coaster opened.
The first two were viral marketing campaigns; the first campaign lasted a little over a month while the second campaign ran for almost a year. More about those campaigns are explained below. The more recent two were more simple games that involved checking out Hersheypark’s Facebook page and a special subsection on the Hersheypark website. These are detailed as well.
The first viral marketing campaign Hersheypark ran was a game titled Nantimi. The name comes from scrambling up the name Intamin. Intamin was the manufacturer of the roller coaster to be announced – Fahrenheit.
The purpose of this viral marketing campaign was to engage with amusement park enthusiasts in the online community. The idea was to have a series of puzzles for people to solve. Those who participated would receive the opportunity to learn about the 2008 announcement ahead of the general public, and a lucky 11 participants were invited to be on the first ride of Fahrenheit in 2008.
Project 2012 – Ride Institute of Technology
Project 2012 was a viral marketing campaign which began in October 2010. Much like the Nantimi game, the concept was to have a series of puzzles solved. Clues would be teased or directed based on how players were playing the game.
The main focus was on a fictitious organization called the Ride Institute of Technology (RIT). Four other fictitious companies were created to support the Project 2012 storyline. All of the puzzles led up to the announcement of Hersheypark’s 12th roller coaster, Skyrush. Because Skyrush was due to open in 2012, part of the game focused on the coincidental nature of the park opening their 12th roller coaster in 2012. The Project 2012 game ended on August 2, 2011, when Skyrush was announced.
On the evening before Skyrush opened to the public, people who participated in the Project 2012 game were invited to an event at the park. Held at Creekside Catering, there was a gathering of the participants who could attend. Then the group got to be on one of the first rides of Skyrush.
Laff Trakk + Hershey Triple Tower
Since then, the park has done two smaller games through Facebook and their website, teasing and giving clues about Laff Trakk, the park’s most recent roller coaster addition in 2015, and Hershey Triple Tower, which opened earlier this year in April 2017.
The fourth clue for Hershey Triple Tower.
Both involved clues being posted on Hersheypark’s Facebook page and Twitter account, as well as on the Hersheypark website. The puzzle in both cases revealed when those attractions were to be announced to the public.