Analyzing Knott’s Berry Farm’s Newest Slogan

15 08 2013

Knott’s Berry Farm has long sold itself as the America’s First Theme Park — and they have a point. The historic ghost town area opened up in 1940, a good 15 years before Walt Disney revolutionized the theme park industry forever. We could talk for days about how much Knott’s inspired Disneyland and vice versa (or about their obvious collusion in the early days), but Robert and others have already done a much better job of that than I could.

So instead, let’s take a look at Knott’s Berry Farm’s latest slogan while dissecting the lengthy explanation found at the bottom of their home page. It’ll be fun.

For whatever reason it was no longer good enough for Knott’s to be America’s first theme park — no, no, they need MORE. So recently they switched it up and are now the self-proclaimed (because I swear NO ONE ELSE is saying this) “California’s Best Theme Park.”

Can you use it in a sentence?

Knott’s Berry Farm is California’s best theme pa—hahahahahahaha. Nope. No, it is not. That is a lie. Please go away.

Granted, many businesses advertise many things that are not necessarily true. I’m reminded of the seen from Elf where Will Ferrel’s character drinks “New York’s Best Cup of Coffee” with hilarious results. But instead of just leaving the slogan out there and hoping no one would notice/care, Knott’s decided to give us a real gem of an explanation at the bottom of their page.

“Looking for California’s best amusement park? Look no further than Knott’s Berry Farm. One of the best amusement parks in California, if not the best amusement park in California. Take into account all that Knott’s Berry Farm has to offer: the 301-foot-tall WindSeeker. Ghost Town. The one minute, 30 seconds of head-over-heels fun of Boomerang. For the kids, there’s always Camp Snoopy. Take a ride on the Calico Railroad. For water fun, there’s Bigfoot Rapids. And let’s not forget why Knott’s Berry Farm is California’s best amusement park–Boysenberry Pie and famous chicken dinner. Come Halloween, you’ll see why Knott’s is the best amusement park in California, because it’s when Knott’s Berry Farm turns into Knott’s Scary Farm. Where during the day Camp Spooky takes the stage, and ghouls and zombies rule the night. Just a few reasons it’s California’s best amusement park. Knott’s Berry Farm.”

The whole thing strikes me as something a shady 1920s salesperson would try to pull on you. Complete with a “Step right up, step right up and enjoy…” well, you get the idea.

Not only is that gigantic paragraph a little overwhelming and unnecessary, the attractions it highlights are … unfortunate? Let’s look at it line by line, shall we?

“Looking for California’s best amusement park? Look no further than Knott’s Berry Farm. One of the best amusement parks in California, if not the best amusement park in California.”

Wait, so you’re already backing off your claim? Good God I’m only two sentences in! Just relax! Magic Mountain will probably not sue you over it.

“Take into account all that Knott’s Berry Farm has to offer: the 301-foot-tall WindSeeker. Ghost Town. The one minute, 30 seconds of head-over-heels fun of Boomerang. “

So right off the bat you’re advertising a ride that has been closed for nearly 11-freaking-months. How can you not see that is a mistake? No one has noticed? Not a single person? Really? Alright. That’s cool, at least you’ll follow it up with Ghost Town and then your best roller coas—wait, Boomerang? You’re advertising Boomerang? Who wrote this and have they ever BEEN on a roller coaster before?

“Take a ride on the Calico Railroad. For water fun, there’s Bigfoot Rapids.”

Calico Railroad — that’s solid and for water fun they must tell you to ride the historic Log Ride, right? Oh. They don’t. Big Foot rapids, huh? Well, okay then. That’s unfortunate.

“And let’s not forget why Knott’s Berry Farm is California’s best amusement park–Boysenberry Pie and famous chicken dinner.”

So you’re telling me that the crux of your claim of value that your amusement park is the best in this state is pie and fried chicken? I have no words. No, really, I don’t. I don’t even know what to say about this. Let alone that the “Knott’s Famous Chicken Dinner” has been wildly overrated for years — even if it was incredible it still does not in any way make your theme park better because it’s not inside the damn park! COME ON! I don’t need a ticket to eat there!

“Come Halloween, you’ll see why Knott’s is the best amusement park in California, because it’s when Knott’s Berry Farm turns into Knott’s Scary Farm. Where during the day Camp Spooky takes the stage, and ghouls and zombies rule the night. Just a few reasons it’s California’s best amusement park. Knott’s Berry Farm.”

I’ve resisted harping on the lack of commas in this piece, but this is just excruciating. Back-to-back sentence fragments? I’m the ruler of sentence fragments (ask my wife, she’ll back me up) and even I don’t (usually) put sentence fragments back to back. Do better, Knott’s Berry Farm.

If Knott’s Berry Farm is California’s best amusement park (nope) then it certainly isn’t because of some pie and chicken. It’s because of the piles of steel upon acres of concrete.


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2 responses

15 08 2013
brittanlauren

Kudos. Although it was painful reading through Knotts paragraph of explanation once, I could barely force myself to re-read each sentence when you listed them one at a time, but your commentary made it well worth it!

15 08 2013
Jacob

Appreciate it! Yeah, I almost felt bad putting the whole paragraph “twice” effectively; but it had to be done.

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