“Local businesses get good exposure on Hawaii Five-O” from Hawaii News Now

Local businesses get good exposure on Hawaii Five-O
Source:  Hawaii News Now (with video)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 9:45 PM EST

By Steve Uyehara

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – It was the start of another episode.  Danno and Chin Ho Kelly were leaning over their car.  Danno’s mouth was still full, but he still found room to remark, “It’s should be illegal it’s so good.  What the hell is it?”  Chin Ho replied, “Coco puffs.  Liliha Bakery sells 7,000 of these a day.”

It seems every week another local business gets a plug like this on Hawaii Five-0.  Take the Battleship Missouri Memorial for instance.  It served as the backdrop when Steve McGarett met the governor for the first time in the pilot episode.  It’s also in the credits at the opening of every show.  And it also had its own episode.  An ex-Navy Seal took a group of visitors hostage.

Since then, tourists have been pouring in.  Last December the Missouri saw 25% more visitors than any other December on record.  And just last month they saw 30,000 paid customers.

Michael Carr, the President and COO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial says, “We had a record year in 2010, I think driven by a number of things, the publicity that we got from drydock, the fact that tourism has improved, but I think the Five-0 Effect certainly had a positive impact on the later part of the year.”

Carr says the Missouri never paid for the publicity.  In fact, Five-0 paid them a site fee and even let the Memorial authorities look over the script before shooting.  “The alleged suspect was supposed to come on covered in blood,” remarks Carr.  “We’re like, we don’t let people through the gate covered in blood.  So they actually had to change it.”

Five-0 fans know the character Kamekona as the face of Waiola Shave Ice.  But in real life, it’s Jerry Lee who’s owned the shop for 30-plus years.  He still doesn’t know why the producers chose to feature his business.  “It could be just the name ‘Waiola,'” he says.  “It’s Hawaiian, versus some other Japanese name.”

He calculates an additional 20% in shave ice sales since his business’ name appeared in the pilot.  And he says T-shirt sales are up 30%.  He even has a shirt with Kamekona’s likeness on it.  He has a tough time keeping that one in stock.

Still, there’s just one more thing he wants from Kamekona.  “I wanna meet badly,” he says.  “I want to invite him here, have a shave ice, take a picture and we can hang it on the wall here and have the words that say ‘founders,’ you know?  Because I always tell people he’s the owner, and I’m the brother.”

Kona Brewing Co. has seen a HUGE boost from it’s appearance in the show.  Steve McGarett is always drinking their beer.  In fact, the show’s alpha male has been heard asking for the company’s signature “Longboard” brew in several episodes.  How did that help?  Well in the 4th quarter of last year they saw a 60% increase in beer sales.

“It’s probably added 10,000 barrels of beer to the sales over the 4th quarter and into the beginning of the 1st quarter,” says Mattson Davis, President of Kona Brewing.  “It’s just been, that’s 10,000 on top of the growth we were already experiencing.”

But for all the products featured on the show, the biggest product has got to be Hawaii itself.

I asked Steve Spalding, a tourist from Michigan if seeing the sunny beaches and blue skies on TV during the winter made him want to come here.  He replied, “Yes!  I’ve been dying to come here.  Been watching this show since it started and I’ve been dying to come.”

And when you think about it, the show is still in its first season.  Who knows how much stronger the Five-0 Effect will get.

Copyright Hawaii News Now 2011. All rights reserved.

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About officer808

Investigating Hawaii Five-0 from the inside.
This entry was posted in Filming Locations, News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to “Local businesses get good exposure on Hawaii Five-O” from Hawaii News Now

  1. Val says:

    I’m sorry but the Hawaii Five-O effect is “catchy” everywhere…we are already suffering from withdrawals of the three week long wait for the next new episode…the effect is really contagious …. so not surprising that the businesses of Hawaii are catching the effect of the positive vibe and “aura” that’s going around week after week and the Fab Four love their new hometown and every chance they get, they try some of the local fare and I’m sure they love the lifestyle and the people….love them just as much….its a win win for everyone.

    • textbook says:

      …and it doesn’t hurt that a whole lot of us have been spending a winter socked in with snow and cold. Hawaii just looks that much better by comparison. I expect in July when it’s 101 degrees here it’ll still look really good.

    • officer808 says:

      its gonna be a long three weeks…

      Five-0 is definitely giving the economy a boost for small biz *and* overall tourism.

  2. Ichi says:

    I just discovered this blog, and I’m loving it!!

    Aside from the Chevy, Hilton Hawaiian, and silly Bing product placement, I really enjoy how Hawaii Five-0 is supporting local businesses around O’ahu. It really is a win-win situation for the islands! I do, however, can’t wait until the producers get bored of crime-ing up O’ahu and start exploring the other islands! They did “go to Kauai” in the newlywed killer episode, but I know some of it was filmed on O’ahu. I went Hawaii back in December, and we went golfing at the Ko’olau, and you can see the cliff where the character jumped to his death from the course!

    • officer808 says:

      Aloha Ichi, thanks for stopping by and contributing 🙂

      I think production costs are way too expensive to move stuff off island, but it wouldn’t hurt to havea few scenes at Waimea Canyon, Haleakala, or Volcanoes National Park…

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