So I’m watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition tonight (I’m a sucker for a Muppet guest appearance), and maybe halfway through, there’s an ad for Knott’s Berry Farm – if you watched the show, you may not have seen it, I assume it was a local ad for those in the greater Los Angeles area, within driving distance of Knott’s. And if you don’t live in the area, you may not know that this theme park has a Peanuts-themed kids area and a lot of Peanuts material in their advertising.
First off, the ad placement is a bit odd in itself; it’s not just that Extreme Makeover airs on ABC, owned by Disney, who own Disneyland – the main competition for Knott’s. It’s that this particular series is very much themed around the Disney theme parks. In many episodes, they send the family whose home is being remade on a trip to Disneyland. In this episode, they sent the family on a Disney cruise and gave away dozens of tickets to Disney parks and even having the Muppets guest star serves to promote the parks (the characters have been featured lately in ads for the parks.)
But what truly made it odd was that this ad was specifically promoting their “Charlie Brown Christmas” feature, primarily a Peanuts-and-Christmas-themed parade that goes through the park. And as the ad notes, that particular event runs through January 3rd. In other words, it ended the day the ad aired… and the park closed an hour before the TV show started airing. So the effect was less “come and see this!” and more “ha-ha! Guess what you just missed!”