MEN’S DAY. “Men’s Day at Champion Chevrolet” takes place the day after Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping day of the year, to attract men to the dealership. The angle is, “Don’t be a wimp and follow your wife around at the mall this year. Be a real man and come test-drive a truck at Champion Chevrolet with other men!” We set up a big-screen TV so no one will miss any football games. Everyone can register to win the TV, and we throw in other man-type prizes like season basketball tickets and gift certificates to a local men’s shop.MEN’S DAY. “Men’s Day at Champion Chevrolet” takes place the day after Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping day of the year, to attract men to the dealership. The angle is, “Don’t be a wimp and follow your wife around at the mall this year. Be a real man and come test-drive a truck at Champion Chevrolet with other men!” We set up a big-screen TV so no one will miss any football games. Everyone can register to win the TV, and we throw in other man-type prizes like season basketball tickets and gift certificates to a local men’s shop.
DINNER ON THE MAYFLOWER. Arrange with your local/regional Mayflower mover to award a sumptuous catered dinner in one of their moving vans. Get your town’s best restaurant to supply the food and the service. Get your town’s best decorator to fix up the inside of the van.
FILL THE MAYFLOWER. Listeners are invited to come to sponsor locations and donate non-perishable food items for the needy. The radio station broadcasts live remotes at the sponsor locations daily from mid-November through Thanksgiving. The goal is to fill a 48-foot Mayflower moving van with food, all of which goes to a local food- distribution charity. Tie in your local/regional Mayflower company. Then sell sponsorships to any and all businesses: sponsors get participation in all signage, on-air promotional announcements, and a remote from their businesses.
LEFT-OVER WEEKEND. After Thanksgiving, since everyone is thinking “left-overs” anyway, clean out your prize closet and get rid of left-over promotional items from the past year.
THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING is a monster sales day for most retailers. Go to the biggest department store in your town and help them stretch that sales volume back to Wednesday. Sell an all-day pre-Thanksgiving radio remote. Do the “Mountain of Coke” or other promotion encouraging people to stop in and pick up their soft drinks for the holiday…and also enjoy after-Thanksgiving special prices before Thanksgiving at the department store.
TURKEY SHOOT. Have listeners write in to win a free Thanksgiving turkey from a participating sponsor. Sell advertisers a “Turkey Shoot” package consisting of a certain number of ads, and each sponsor has a turkey given away in their name during the contest. Make up a rotating cart with various animal sound effects—a duck, a goat, and so on, along with a turkey. (For an extra fillip, put a cuckoo clock on the tape as well.) Select cards from all those submitted by listeners, call them and put them on the air. The jock asks if they’re ready to “go turkey hunting,” plays a shotgun sound effect, then plays the animal-sounds tape. If the turkey sound comes up, the player wins a turkey; if it’s another sound, the player wins a consolation prize. Variations on the theme: have listeners call in to win, or have them register at participating sponsor locations or online.
HOLIDAY GREETINGS. Start selling your holiday greeting announcements ahead of the pack. Telemarket a combination Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s package in early November. Then rework the unsold inventory in early to mid-December for Christmas and New Year’s only.
GO AFTER IT. Think about working with folks in these product categories and who sell these products:
GroceriesTurkey farmsDecorationsTravelRestaurantsBakeriesHoney-baked hamApple cider farmsHay rides Rentals (tables, chairs, party goods)
Rental cars (for family visitors)Photo shopsSantaChristmas shoppingTHANKSGIVING DINNER RECIPES. In the two weeks prior to Thanksgiving, have listeners call the station on cue to record their favorite tips and recipes for preparing the traditional holiday turkey and all the trimmings. Suggest in the promos that listeners write down their tips and recipes before calling in so they’ll be prepared to record. Line up a grocery store to sponsor the call-in segments and to provide callers with small prizes or coupons for free merchandise. On the air, play back the calls, surrounding them with a sponsorship billboard and the store’s commercial. Going one step further, line up a catering service to provide a full turkey dinner on Thanksgiving to the winner of a random drawing from all those who submitted tips and recipes—and the caterer prepares all dishes using the recipes submitted.
BOWLING WITH TURKEYS. At a local bowling alley, participants bowl with actual frozen turkeys (make sure they are well wrapped!). winners receive a turkey and other dinner items like stuffing, cranberries, etc. a local supermarket makes a good sponsor here. Try tying in meat company coupons for free bowling.
CARE FOR A DRUMSTICK? Here’s an idea developed by a Bay Area radio station: with the Thanksgiving season coming up why not hold an out of the ordinary fundraiser for your town’s local food shelter by auctioning off drumsticks. No, not drumsticks served with gravy and cranberries, but authentic drumsticks from some of the world’s most famous rockers. Do the bidding on-air, but please explain rules explicitly before the auction as well as during.
SPOT WXXX’S GOBBLE. During Thanksgiving season many stations give away turkeys, so why not put a twist on the promotion to stand out from your competition? In the weeks prior to Thanksgiving, invite your listeners to phone in and “gobble” on the air. Record all gobblers on tape along with their identification. During the three days prior to Thanksgiving, play a gobble every hour (without revealing the identity of the “turkey”). If the listeners who originally made the recordings recognize their voices, they must call the station and properly identify themselves to win a free turkey.