It’s not something you usually associate for Christmas, and this annual promotion isn’t for most stations, but if you are an edgy station that appeals to men and have a personality based show that pushes the envelope, Toys For Tatas is a big winner.
It’s a clever spinoff of the popular Toys For Tots campaigns. In most markets, someone is collecting toys to distribute to sick or under-privileged children. This concept is the same, but the benefits for participating listeners extend beyond the joy of giving a toy.
Executing Toys For Tatas
The promotion takes place during the morning show (usually 5:30-10am) on a weekday just before Christmas. The show performs live all morning from a strip club. The price of admission is to bring a toy for the kids. Come inside and you get lap dances for donations. Everyone wins!
Toys for Tatas gets talk, fills the club and positions a station as being irreverent. For the right personalities, it’s an ideal way to be involved with a big Christmas promotion without changing key character traits.
I first became aware of the promotion on 93X (KXXR), a rock station in Minneapolis. The Half-Assed Morning Show has been doing it for more than a decade. Even on a subzero morning in mid-December, the show had a full house and performed a great sounding show.
The success has spread across the United States, with may similar stations launching a similar campaign. Gentlemen’s Clubs across the country have adopted it as a month-long event in their clubs, so it may already be happening in your market. Check out if it’s already being done. If it is, find a way to be a promotion partner.
Here’s an example from a club’s promo reel:
Promotion Tips and Tricks
If it’s not already in your city, launch the idea and own it. The easiest way to manage the details is to arrange for another organization (like Toys for Tots) to pick up the toys and distribute them. There are plenty of organizations you could find to handle the details.
This works much better as a one-day (morning) promotion. It stands out. Trying to sustain it for multiple days or months is not as exciting and it loses some of the “bigness” of the event.
Be prepared for backlash. But then, if your station is right for this promotion, you should embrace the controversy. Just be ready for it and plan how spokespeople will respond on social media and television when attention comes your way.
Obviously, this promotion only works for a select few stations in the right format. Be careful.