Top 7 Craziest Radio Promotions

Posted by Kelly Grindle on Jan 10, 2022 10:30:00 AM


Created in the early 1900's, Radio soared to the top of the list for mass media options. For the first time ever, listeners were able to get updates immediately! It continued to grow and is still a way we communicate across the world.

One thing Radio Stations do to help boost awareness is Radio Promotions. Maybe On-Air, or maybe Off-Air, either way they have proven to increase listener volumes tremendously.

We decided to dive into the Top 7 craziest radio promotions in history to see what has been done!

Top 7 Crazy Radio Promotions

1. $1 Car Sale

Starting the list off, is one of our very own promotions that we cover. It’s called “The $1 Car Sale.” Basically, if the winners can match the last 6-digits on their dollar bill to the last 6-digits of the VIN number on the car…they win the grand prize!

A dealership in New Jersey did a spin on this promotion, only he had a parking lot filled 100 pre-owned vehicles. If you sat in the correct one, you won the car for $1. That’s right – there were only 3 cars in the parking lot for $1!

2. Fifteen Seconds of Fame

Mix 104.1 from Boston holds a promotion that allows amateur artists the opportunity to debut their music. Some recorded in their bedrooms, basements, and on the street. They have featured over 1,500 independent artists and the Grand Prize?

Well, many of the performers went on to be signed and some even won Grammys! So, your 15 seconds of fame could turn into a lifetime of fame for just being featured.

3. Million Dollar Head in the Sand

Coming in at number five on the list of craziest radio promotions is “Million Dollar Head In The Sand.” 2DayFM in Australia hosted this promotion in 2011 as part of the release for the latest Twilight Film.

There were money bags buried in a circle on Bondi Beach, and the contestant had 5 minutes to dig up as many bags as possible by either hands or shovels. The contestant found five bags and was told she could open two of them.

The very first one she opened contained One Million Dollars! Can you image how exciting this would be!

4. Live In It To Win It

Number four spot for the craziest radio promotion is “Live In It To Win In.” Can you imagine living in a car for a week just so you could win it? What if you had to live in it with other contestants?

A group of randomly selected contestants must stay in a general area together (i.e. Car, RV, Etc.). The last person still in the area wins the Grand Prize! Yes, they get short bathroom breaks and get fed, but can you imagine eating, sleeping, and living in a car for an extended period of time?

Unfortunately, we were unable to locate a winner for this promotion as an example for you, but how fun would this one be?

5. The Fugitive

The number three spot is awarded to the radio promotion “The Fugitive.” The first time it was ever done was in 1999 by SA-FM Radio Station, and it when on the being one of the most successful radio promotion concepts in the world!

The idea behind this promotion is to have someone in the city with a “bounty” on their head, and the radio station would give you a description of the person. The contestants would then go up to the person and say verbatim, “Are you the SA-FM Fugitive?”

If they find the fugitive running around the city, they win the grand prize! It’s like playing clue in real life, and who doesn’t want to solve a mystery?

6. Win a Baby

The next one in line for the craziest radio promotion is “win a baby.” It was held in 2011 by a Canadian Radio Station. The idea was that listeners would choose one lucky couple to receive in-vitro fertility (IVF) treatments.

People hated the idea of this because it brought light to a financial and emotional problem for many couples by turning it into a popularity contest. Even though people disagreed with the promotion it did, however, promote a political discussion about the lack of government aided IVF treatments in Ontario!

7. Win Yourself a Wedding

Coming in our number one spot for the craziest radio promotion is “Win Yourself a Wedding.” However, there’s a catch!

The couple must walk down the aisle naked. Who in their right mind would walk to the aisle naked to win a free wedding? Well in 2011, one couple jumped on it as soon as they found out. They had been together for 10 years and couldn’t afford  a wedding, so they never  got married until now. Thank goodness they didn’t walk down in their birthday suit completely! The couple covered what was necessary so they could win a free wedding! How crazy, right?

Some of these are crazy and some are actually genius. Either way, there is nothing like a successful Radio Promotion to get engagements soaring! Did you know we have a full staff readily available to help you customize any promotion for you?

Well, we do, and we are looking forward to hearing from you! Give us a call at 888-323-2257 or you can visit our radio promotions page to fill out a contact form!

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Topics: Promotions