On Tax Day, Trojan will be handing out free Trojan vibrators (worth up to $39.99 each) at so-called pleasure carts set up in San Francisco and Los Angeles.(Photo: Trojan)
(USA TODAY) -- Tax Day isn't just a pain in the wallet. It also sucks up gobs of time and emotions.
explains why so many marketers are embracing it as a day when they can
play the hero with acts of kindness -- such as handing out freebies. Big
names from Arby's to Office Depot will be doling out everything from
Tax Day snacks to free printing. Even Trojan -- yes, that Trojan -- is getting in the Tax Day freebie mix.
Most of the Tax Day freebies and deals have social-media tie-ins that require some sort of coupon.
hate Tax Day," says Erika Napoletano, brand strategist with RHW Media.
"If a brand can come across as the good guy, the brand wins. It's all
about audiences feeling as if they're understood."
STILL HAVEN'T FILED?: Get the latest tax news and advice
Tax Day promos are freebies - others are deals. Some are limited to
April 15, while others stretch through the whole month of April.
(Please check brand Facebook pages or websites for details). Among this
• Snacks. Great American Cookies will hand
out thousands of its new birthday cookies to lure consumers to stores
"on a day they might not have planned to go," says Jenn Johnston,
Bruegger's Bagels will sell a box of 13
bagels for $10.40 (a "deduction" of nearly $3.50 per box). Last year, it
sold more than 10,000 of the Big Bagel Bundles, says Judy Kadylak,
director of marketing.
Arby's will hand out free Value Curly Fries
or free Potato Cakes. It expects to redeem 34,000 coupons, says Bob
Kraut, senior vice president of brand marketing.
will sell a two-fer of its new rib meals for $10.40. (Essentially, one
meal is free.) The name for it: We Love the IRS (Incredible Rib
Cinnabon will hand out two free, bite-size
Cinnabon Bites per customer. Last year more than 60,000 were given out.
"We want to get the word out on our lesser-known treats," says
President Kat Cole.
Sonic will be offering half-price drinks and slushes on tax day.
AMC Theatres are offering a free small popcorn now through April 15.
• Printing. Consumers can print up to
25 black-and-white pages and do up to 5 pounds of shredding for free at
Office Depot. When folks stop by, it also hopes to sell them file
folders, storage boxes and shredders, notes Randy Wick, vice president
• Massages. HydroMassage is offering
freebie 10- to 15-minute massages at hundreds of fitness centers.
"People need the stress relief" at tax season, says Paul Lunter,
• Sexual aids. No one has a wackier Tax Day
stunt than Trojan, which will hand out Trojan vibrators (worth up to
$39.99) at "Pleasure Carts" in San Francisco and Los Angeles, says Bruce
Weiss, vice president of marketing. "It's a stimulus package they will
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