Father’s Day Promotions

CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’RE A FATHER! A retail store and/or a service business of any kind can offer a free gift to every man who becomes a father on Father’s Day.

DAD GETS THE DAY OFF. Tie in any Dad-related sponsors to a promotion where your station’s morning jock takes care of some of Dad’s duties for the day. You not only take the winning Dad’s duties for the day, you send him and his family to the theater, to play miniature golf, etc., and end the day with a nice family dinner. In the meantime, you get the car washed/detailed, have the oil changed, mow the lawn and any other dad-type chores. Have listeners sign up at sponsor locations or online. Select a winner from a random on-air drawing the week before father’s day.

DAD FLY-IN. Bring in your jocks’ dads to do part of their air shifts on the Friday before the parent’s day. Dad should come armed with spicy stories about the son or daughter, which can be shared on the air. Then, on Saturday, have a Dads Dinner, inviting listener Dads to join the jock Moms.

DAD’S DAY BRUNCH. Encourage listeners to bring Dad to your special Father’s Day Brunch at a hotel or big restaurant. Dad eats free, and the rest of the clan gets to chow down at fixed prices. Maybe you can have the per-person tab for your buffet tied to the station’s frequency. In addition to lots of grub, provide light entertainment and have your personalities cruise the crowd continuously. Maybe give all attendees inexpensive memento and/or offer commemorative t-shirts. By the way, Outback Steakhouses have sponsored such events in the past and usually bought two weeks of radio to pump them.

DAD’S A REAL SPORT. The week prior to Father’s Day, have a local store set up a hole-in-one golf game on location. Each day fathers come in to try for the hole-in-one. Each father that actually sinks one will win a gift certificate good for store merchandise, and is also automatically registered for the grand prize drawing to be held at the store on Father’s Day. It works well to have the grand prize be something Dad couldn’t get on his own—a round of golf with a local sports celebrity, center court tickets to a pro basketball game, a chance to meet his favorite player, etc.

DECK YOUR DAD. On Father’s Day a local lumber dealer gives away a deck—lumber & labor included—to a deserving dad. Get submissions from sons, moms, whomever, as to why they would like to “deck their Dad.” The winner is judged on the most creative and imaginative response received. Responses can be read by the jock, but it’s more fun having the entrant live on the air. This can be a one-month long promotion; both the audience and the air talent can have a lot of fun with it.

FASHION FRIGHTS. Sell a local department store, men’s clothing store or a mall on this fun Father’s Day promotion with a charitable twist. Tell your listeners to ransack dad’s or hubby’s closet to find that really ugly tie, those bright green golf pants, those worn out jeans/shirts, etc. that you won’t let him wear in public anymore. Invite listeners to trade in these fashion frights in exchange for a discount on a replacement item at the participating stores. On the Saturday before Father’s Day, hold a fashion show of some of the worst fashion mistakes alongside the retailers’ newest menswear looks. Let the crowd vote on their favorite fashion fright, with prizes and/or retailer gift certificates awarded to the people who contributed the items judged worst. Donate any wearable trade-in items to a local men’s shelter or the Salvation Army. Don’t forget to invite the press for this fun promotion and community event.

FATHERS DAY FIXIN’ FRENZY. Go looking for the “handiest dad” for Father’s Day. Qualify listeners at a local home improvement store, and invite ten qualifiers to the store for a “fixin’ frenzy.” Give Dads basic materials (wood, nails, saws, hammers and, if you have them, your station bumper stickers) and ask them to get the creative juices (or testosterone) flowing! The winner is chosen by an impartial judge and gets a gas grill or some other manly prize.

GREAT FATHER’S DAY PRIZES. Build your Father’s Day promotion around prizes from a lumber yard (decking, tools), implement dealer (rider mower), hardware store (tools), clothing store (duh), concert promoter (tickets), raceway (tickets), or a computer dealer (duh again).

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON. This promotion celebrates dads and their sons in a fun way. Have a sporting goods chain sponsor a father-son lookalike contest. Contestants drop off a photo of the father and son together, along with name, address, phone, etc., at the sponsor’s locations—or they upload them to the station website. They are then registered to win prizes and a chance at the grand prize, for the fathers and sons who look the most alike. Display the pictures online and in the store and let customers vote on who they believe look most alike. Have all of the fathers and sons on hand for the announcement and award the grand prize. You can also do this same promotion at a shopping mall, and have the different retailers give away prizes.

MEN’S DAY. Do a Men’s Day at a local car dealer. Set up a big-screen TV and everyone who attends is registered to win it. Threw in other man-type prizes, like season basketball tickets and gift certificates to an electronics store.

MOBILE STUDIO. The “studio” is nothing more than a recorder and a microphone. On the Friday before the Friday before Father’s Day (e.g., a week and two days in advance), invite your listeners to come out and record their Father’s Day wishes: “Listen for the wishes all Father’s Day weekend long. Today the WXXX mobile studio will be at [sponsor location].” All you need is a gregarious air personality with the equipment, asking folks to record their wishes: “Hi this is Joe Doe, and I want to wish a happy Father’s Day to my dad, John. . .” Collect all these, and you’ll end up with 50 or 60 short (three- to five-second) snippets. Edit them into a series of 30- or 60-second promos which you play all weekend. You have a tune-in factor for your radio station, and a traffic-builder for your participating sponsors.

MYSTERY DAD CONTEST. Contact the father of someone who is well-known in the community. Interview the dad and get all kinds of juicy information about the person. Then run sound bites from the interview on the air as clues and ask your listeners to guess who the person is. First correct guess wins a prize.

PAPA’S GOT A BRAND-NEW BAG. In conjunction with a sporting-goods store, give away golf bags.

POP ART. For Father’s Day, have kids draw pictures of their dads, then display them online and/or at a mall.

POSTCARDS FOR DADS. Distribute postcards three weeks before Father’s Day, with a space to say why your dad is special. Then, the two weeks before Father’s Day, read a postcard on the air and give the family ten minutes to phone in to win a small prize and to get dad qualified for a grand prize drawing. Trade all the prizes out, sell a bunch of sponsors, and watch the postcards roll in! Or, do the same thing online and call it “A Message to Dad.” Or use e-mail or texts and title the promotion accordingly.

TAILGATE PARTY. This was originally done in conjunction with Lea & Perrins and the state Beef Council: the station encouraged its listeners to grill beef with Lea & Perrins products using Beef Council recipes. To promote the idea, the station had tailgate parties at selected grocery stores just before Father’s Day (and July 4 as well). Listeners registered to win a tailgate party for ten at a local raceway. The station also ran commercials and promos throughout the campaign.

THIS IS DAD’S LIFE. Compose a vignette describing Dad’s entire life, compressing his education from kindergarten through graduate school, remembering all the relationships of his life—told in tiny sound bites from his parents, teachers, coaches, first dates, spouses and retirement buddies.

WACKY FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND. Here is a variation on the old outrageous stunt promotion, only this time you design the exploits, and the big winner is someone’s dad. Invite listeners to participate in a Saturday event at which contestants will all be required to execute the same series of wacky feats—things like being totally immersed in hot fudge or kissing a pig. Stage the competition at a high-traffic site, like a mall. Everyone who completes all of the required preliminary achievements is registered for a drawing, the winner of which receives a fabulous prize for his or her dad.