Even as the marketers of 2009 rush to Twitter or Facebook or create ads to pop up on cellphone screens, judges for this year's Pittsburgh American Advertising Awards singled out a retro effort for special mention.
The campaign for the Twin Hi-Way Drive-In in Robinson didn't even require a blog. Instead, creative minds at the Brunner agency, Downtown, put images of people watching movies in their cars on windshield sun shades. When handed out, the shades became mobile ads for the drive-in.
FROM THE POST GAZETTE (05/30/10)
Operations like the Twin Hi-Way Drive-in movie theater in Robinson are keeping hiring to a minimum.
For the past 40 years, Jerry K. Salnoris hasn't been to an indoor theater as a patron. A few years ago Mr. Salnoris became one of the three owners of the Twin Hi-Way.
From an economic standpoint, he said, it makes more sense to see a movie at a drive-in. Instead of paying $8 or $9 per movie, the Twin Hi-Way charges $6.50 for two.
"The only thing we share with indoor theaters is movies," he said. "You can bring your car, blanket, lawn chair and can eat a burger, can talk -- you can't really do that at an indoor without offending someone."
Typically the drive-in operates on a weekend schedule for the first few weeks of the season. After Memorial Day, it shifts to a week-long schedule.
Like other outdoor seasonal businesses, Mr. Salnoris relies heavily on good weather. So far this year, it's been hit or miss, but in the almost four years since he's held the lease, he's been pleased with traffic overall.
"Actually, business has been phenomenal," he said. "I couldn't ask for more."
He plans to make a few more hires this summer but not many. Most of his staff never seems to leave. He starts with 10 to 15 employees and is hoping to bump it up to about 25 or 30 employees.
"I'm just not that big of a business," he said. "I hope we can grow and hire a lot of people ... that would be ideal for me and job seekers."
Businesses are encouraged by signs that there could be some improvement in business this summer.
Twin Hi-Way Drive In 5588 Steubenville Pike, Robinson Township 412-494-4999