The Beast is Back

Years ago, I was hired to tag some radio and tv spots for Playland, the Vancouver amusement park. Rethink had taken over the account, and they wanted to try something new for this well-loved summer family tradition. Instead of a cheerful, friendly announcer voice inviting listeners to come and enjoy fun rides, these ads featured the Cranky Megaphone Lady. She was tired, bored, fed up. With an irritated sigh, she gave the information ("Playland, now open daily"), but she really did not give a... you know.

I thought this would be a one-off, I really did, but the campaign was a hit.  Rethink was ahead of the curve, anticipating the shift away from "perky". Cranky Megaphone Lady was an early-days version of what's now the ubiquitous "anti-announcer" read.  And she has returned every summer to (sigh...) remind you to check out new rides, like The Hellavator, The Beast... We recently recorded the 2016 campaign, and the guys at the studio and I were counting how many years it's been. I think we're at 14 now, right, John? Which, in advertising, is what's called a campaign with legs.

Poor Megaphone Lady will be working a longer shift this year.  The Beast is back, she's got legs, and she knows how to use them.