As a longtime advertiser on local radio station WMMR, Philadelphia’s Steven Singer Jewelers regularly spitballs ideas for event opportunities with the morning show, Preston & Steve.
Out of one of these brainstorming sessions sprung the zany idea to do a wedding wake-up call. The concept: Area grooms submit themselves and their fiancées as candidates for a surprise wedding to take place on the air—at 7 a.m.
Courtesy Steven Singer Jewelers
Steven Singer Jewelers committed to gifting a $6,000 ring set—part of the retailer’s Ready for Love collection—to the bride. And on Feb. 13, a Philly bride named Lauren was woken before sunrise by a team of radio producers, a hair and makeup artist, and Singer himself, informing her she had a couple of hours to ready herself for her on-air nuptials. (She was loaned a wedding dress by another sponsor!)
“A full mini wedding then proceeded on-air,” reports LeeAnn Kindness, head of public relations for the retailer. WMMR radio personality (and announcer for the Philadelphia 76ers) Matt Cord announced the bridal party on the air. And “Steven Singer was, of course, the ring bearer,” says Kindness. A five-minute wedding reception, which included a father-daughter dance, followed the quickie ceremony. Afterward, the couple was whisked off to a honeymoon in Hollywood Beach, Fla., courtesy of additional sponsors.
“The surprise wedding has always been on Steven’s wish list,” says Kindness. “We don’t expect a direct return on investment in these cases.” But by participating and providing the jewelry for the event, “we are allotted much more airtime that is woven into the content of the show. Paid advertising goes only so far in breaking through the clutter. Spending four hours as [an entity that is] woven directly into the content of the show is priceless.”
The wedding itself was, predictably, “hysterical and moving all at the same time,” adds Kindness. In short, the kind of thing listeners remember well.