August & September Promotions: Creative Promotions
August 1 – MTV Premieres
On Aug. 1, 1981, MTV made its television premiere. Host a themed ’80s night and feature hit music from the ’80s, or hire a live ’80s cover band. Invite guests to dress in retro ’80s attire and promote popular ’80s drink shots such as Mind Erasers, Lemon Drops and Sex on the Beach.
Aug. 1 - Anniversary of the World Wide Web
Jump onboard the WWW bandwagon with Twitter. Award guests who Tweet about your bar or restaurant as their favorite place to go with a special offer. This would be a great day to launch a mobile site to help patrons find you, to invite their friends to meet at your place and to receive exclusive mobile promotions. It would also be a great time to update or create MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts. Create an e-mail campaign to create awareness for your promotion. Research sites such as www.BuyYourFriendADrink.com to find ways to gain participation for your establishment.
Aug. 8-16 – Elvis Week
Each year, fans from around the world flock to Memphis to visit the Graceland Mansion and celebrate the life of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. Host your own Elvis Week and feature banana and peanut butter sandwiches on your menu or host a Blue Suede Shoes Brunch. Have an Elvis trivia contest or look-a-like contest and award DVDs of popular Elvis Presley movies and music CDs. If budget allows, give away a trip for two to Graceland. If you feature live music, hire a top Elvis impersonator to entertain guests.
Aug. 8 – National Garage Sale Day
If space allows, create a community outreach program by hosting a garage sale on Aug. 8 in celebration of National Garage Sale Day. Prior to Aug. 8, invite guests to donate items for the garage sale. On the day of the garage sale, donate sales to a local charity. Partner with a charity that has a local presence within your community and that can assist you with getting a large turnout and with volunteer participation. Pass out frequency cards or bounce back cards to participants to drive business throughout the year.
Aug. 15 – 40th Anniversary of Woodstock
In 1969, this three-day music and art festival featured more than 20 bands and drew a crowd of close to half a million. If you have a DJ, pay tribute to the most historic event in rock ’n’ roll by mixing in music from popular Woodstock artists such as Santana, Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, The Who, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jefferson Airplane, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Neil Young and Jimi Hendrix. If you offer live music, book ’60s cover bands to perform.
Aug. 17-21 – Weird Contest Week
This annual event held in Ocean City, N.J., features contests such as French fry sculpting and Little Miss and Little Mister Chaos. Create your own twist to this to see what is the weirdest thing a person would do for $1,000 cash. Participation should be high and very interesting during these tough economic times. Invite the local television stations and newspapers to attend to gain publicity. If budget allows, book a live remote with a popular radio station to cover the event. Feature unique specialty cocktails and shooters.
Aug. 21 – National Men’s Grooming Day
The day was founded and is sponsored by American Crew, the leading maker of men’s grooming products carried in salons and barbershops nationwide. Work with local salons to provide complimentary haircuts to male patrons in exchange for exposure and possible new business leads. Feature whisky cocktails and beer for the evening. For more information regarding American Crew, visit www.americancrew.com.
Aug. 26 – National Dog Day
As the dog days of summer come to an end, celebrate man’s best friend: the dog. Allow guests to bring in their canine friends after work for “Yappy Hour” and provide dog-friendly snacks and toys. Invite a local animal shelter to attend and set up pet adoptions as well as invite their volunteers to attend the party. Host a contest to award the owner who most resembles his or her dog with a year’s worth of dog food or free dog sitting services. Take photos of the winner and submit to local newspapers.
Sept. 1-30 – National Organic Harvest Month
September is “National Organic Harvest Month.” Many food-and-beverage partners offer a variety of organic items. If you serve food, host an organic dinner that pairs menu items with organic wines and cocktails. If you operate a bar, feature organic wines and cocktails made with organic spirits and ingredients.
Sept. 10 – Kick-off of Regular NFL Season
If football viewing parties are part of your marketing plan, add value to game days by providing specials on stadium-style munchies and draft beers. Target Fantasy Football leagues and team fan clubs and provide reserved seating and appetizers for their groups. Tie in local retailers to give away items such as sporting goods gift cards, lazy boy recliners, ice chests, grills and more. If space allows, acquire permits to promote tailgating parties with outdoor beer booths and smoked BBQ. Host a burger-eating contest and award the winner with tickets to see a professional game.
Sept. 20-26 – National Singles Week
One of the main reasons guests visit bars and nightclubs is to mix and mingle with other singles. Partner with a national online dating service, local matchmaking company or “Five Minute Dating” to invite singles to make a connection at your establishment during this week that is dedicated to them. Book popular morning show DJs from the top-ranked radio station to host your event and talk about “hook ups” on their show. Provide “Date Night” prizes such as dinner for two, movie tickets, limousine service, gift cards to a hot fashion retailer, brunch for two, concert tickets and more.
Sept. 20-26 – Great American Dine Out
Share Our Strength, a national organization founded in 1984 that works to ensure no kid in America grows up hungry, is promoting the one-week “Great American Dine Out,” Sept. 20-26. The event is designed to engage every segment of the restaurant industry and participation is flexible. Restaurants can create ways to participate that is right for their business. Examples include donating a percentage of sales, promoting and donating proceeds from a specific menu category or signature item and tying in the Great American Dine Out with a menu promotion. Restaurants have access to a multitude of support materials by registering online at www.greatamericandineout.org.
Brought to you by: Patrick Henry Creative Promotions Inc., www.phcp.com