Summer is a great time to make an impact on the audience. Listeners are active, the mood is a little more relaxed and you can go out and make some new friends and fans. Here are some of our favorite summer ideas.

Summer Ideas

Ice Cream Truck

Rent an Ice cream truck, or find someone that will loan one. Or, just buy one! Paint it or have it wrapped to promote the station.

Then load it up and visit neighborhoods and events to give away ice cream or popsicles. 102.3 Now-FM in Edmonton gave away over 180,000 popsicles in their truck one summer. They call it their Trucksicle.

Try to hire a food service company (or person) to manage the product.


Car Wash Or Make It Rain

You know what happens when you wash your car, right? It always rains! This is a winner for markets that get super hot and dry with droughts.

Work with a local charity that’s raising money and set up a car wash on a Saturday. Make a promise guaranteeing the car wash, promising to refund all payments if it rains on Saturday or Sunday. Of course, most won’t cash in the promise because it’s for a good cause. But check the forecast to make sure it’s not going to rain, just in case!

Twists on the car wash idea:

  • Male targeted stations could partner with Hooters. Trust me, they are down to host. Charge 25 bucks for a car wash and have the Hooters girls help out.
  • For female-targeted stations, call a few fire stations to solicit support. The campaign could benefit firefighters, police, etc.

Pool Party

This can work for a special event for a show or station (like the 10th year on the air, or a birthday for one of the hosts, etc.).

Best to team up with a hotel that has a big pool area. This is convenient because most hotels can also provide food for the event.

Invite listeners, give them VIP guest list status, a gift bag, or simply get them out there for free food.

All personalities should be on hand to shake hands. Be sure to have fun games planned, like a swimsuit contest, water competitions, etc.

Dog Days of Summer

Many stations conduct promotions with a local humane association to get dogs adopted but take it a step further.

  • Set a goal of 92 dogs (for the 92 days of summer) to be adopted.
  • Feature a new dog every day, or several dogs once a week.
  • It’s usually best to promote it on the air, but keep the details about the dogs OFF-air.
  • Use video, and follow the best practices in this promotion.

Frozen T-Shirt Contest

Get 3 shirts. Soak them in water. Tie them in a knot. Freeze them for several days.

Invite listeners in. Whoever can get the shirts unfrozen, and put one on first wins.

This makes great video for social media and is a lot harder than it sounds.

Tip: Make sure you freeze them for a long time. The longer you freeze them, the harder it gets.

Largest Game of Tag

We all loved tag as kids, right? How about trying to break a record in your town? Get the largest game of tag going at a local park or public location.

This would take considerable coordination and management but could be a lot of fun.

A Free Funch

What is “Funch”?

It is FUN LUNCH, of course, targeted directly to adults who want to act like kids.

Get a bunch of inflatables, games, and activities together, like the old Nickelodeon games (Super Sloppy Double Dare).

Set it up for a Friday afternoon and have listeners take a day off and come play.

Lemonade Stand

Lemonade stands and summer go hand in hand. Why not take the morning show out on Friday or Saturday (or both), to give away lemonade.

Accept donations for charity, or better yet…find a kid and become the promoter for their lemonade stand.

Cool Down Zones

Of all the summer ideas, this may be the most useful.

Listeners will come to find a cool down zone at events and street fairs.

Set up a water mister, fans, and give away a water bottle, ice cream, lemonade, etc. It could be the most popular booth at the local fair.

Crash Your Cookout

Invite listeners to call with details about their cookout or barbecue. Choose a few and crash the party. This usually works best on weekends. It’s easy to hit 3-5 on a Saturday or Sunday.

Come and play games with the guests (games you play on the show) and bring out dessert (or hot dogs and beer).

Be sure to get photos and video.

Drive-Thru Karaoke

Start with the biggest hits of summer.

Have listeners call on their way to work, singing along with the songs in a fast food drive-thru.

When they get to the speaker, all they can do is sing the song hook to the employee. They have to keep repeating it until the employee sings back the next part of the song.

If they give up they lose. If the employee sings it back, they win. A good prize is to pay for their order.

Water Balloon Fight

What was the worst part about summer as a kid? Summer programs you really didn’t want to go to, because mom and dad worked all day.

So what if a radio station showed up with water balloons, ice cream, and music? Pair up with the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, or a local camp for kids. Those kids will be forever listeners.

Make sure you have the organization manage it, and stay away from liability!

For more summer ideas and topics, check out the collection in our daily show prep service, Personality Magnet here.