Tax Day Freebies

FRESNO, Calif.

April 15th can be very stressful, especially for those who procrastinate or those who have to pay taxes. But tax day also presents a prime-time marketing opportunity.

If you need a tax day cool down Maggie Moo's in Clovis will hand out free slices of its ice cream pizza Thursday between three and seven pm.

Margaret Gomez talked of the ingredients that make the pizza so real. Gomez said, "We actually have chocolate cake with udderly cream. We have red icing for the red sauce. We have chocolate curls which is white chocolate, m-and-m's peanut cup, heath bar."

For many the day will begin with free coffee at Starbucks. If you bring in your own travel mug, Starbucks will fill it for free.

Tina Alonzo of Atwater said, "Oh it's great because if you love coffee and you get free coffee that's great."

But Fresno State Marketing Professor Bill Rice said, "It's kind of like the fish who sees the worm on the hook. That worm is not free."

Rice says April 15th has become a major hook - like Valentine's Day. Rice explained, "The necessity has driven them to saying I need to do something in this economy. I need something to increase foot traffic. I need something to capture their mind and tie it to a date."

This month every 10th person in the drive-through at Chick-fil-a will get a free meal.

Diane Govea of Fresno said, "I think that's nice too. It's a good way to give back. We're all looking for some type of tax break even if it is for a good Chick-fil-a burger."

Other April 15th deals include a 15-percent discount at PF Chang's. Rio Grill in Clovis has a two-for-one drink special and shoppers at Whole Foods won't be charged any sales tax on tax day.

Rice explained, "They're trying to tie in their particular product or the function of their product with this day and they'll probably keep doing it because it produces a good result."

IHOP is offering a free dinner for your tax exemption. That is, a free kids meal with a paid adult meal.

Professor Rice calls it masterful strategy.

You might not think of tax day in the same category as Christmas or Valentine's Day. But companies are trying to get you to connect their product with April 15th.

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