Funeral Directors and Estate Planning Attorneys:
The Funeral Planning Conversation
Just Got Easier to Start!
Remember the old TV show, The Newlywed Game? It debuted in 1966 and ran through 1974 in its first version. The game pitted newly married couples against each other in a series of revealing question rounds to determine how well the spouses know (or don’t know) each other. Check out this video of a game from 1966:
Bob Eubanks hosted The Newlywed Game and he immortalized the phrase “making whoopee” (used as a reference to having sex – the censors wouldn’t allow those words in the 60s and 70s). At the time the show signed on in 1966, Eubanks at age 28 was the youngest emcee to host a game show. Check out how he changed over the years:
On the PBS series Pioneers of Television, Bob Eubanks said, “The Newlywed Game was reality TV before reality TV as we now know it.”
Time passes and now all those newlyweds are long-married couples (we hope – providing their relationships survived The Newlywed Game and the general rigors of life). The Baby Boomers are sliding into retirement. It’s time for these couples to play a new game:
The Newly-Dead Game® was conceived as a way to help start funeral planning conversations in a fun, non-threatening way. The creator of the game is Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and author/host of A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, an award-winning book and TV interview series. She sought a way to help families get past the fear of discussing funeral planning.
“Couples who have played this game often come away with a fresh appreciation of how much they still need to know about each other when it comes to funeral planning,” said Rubin. “Just as talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about funerals won’t make you dead – and the family benefits from the conversation.”
The game is based on elements of The Newlywed Game, but the questions in The Newly-Dead Game revolve around how well the couple knows each other regarding their last wishes.
The Newly-Dead Game is designed to be played by three or four couples with an emcee reading the questions. Four questions are asked, each progressively more challenging, all regarding elements of the participants’ last wishes. The emcee then interviews the couples to reveal their answers. The couple that gets the most answers correct get the most points. The highest scoring couple wins the top prize!
The Frozen Dead Guy Days Debut
Rubin, a public relations professional with more than 25 years experience in the field, introduced The Newly-Dead Game at the 2011 Frozen Dead Guy Days festival in Nederland, Colorado. This wild and wacky celebration is one of the top winter festivals in the United States.
The Nederland Chamber of Commerce started Frozen Dead Guy Days in 2000. The festival features coffin races, a parade of hearses, a Polar Plunge, the Brain Freeze Ball, frozen turkey bowling and salmon tossing, and a frozen T-shirt contest. The Newly-Dead Game was welcomed as a new addition in 2011.
Publicity Creates Desire
With advance publicity, so many couples wanted to play The Newly-Dead Game, a waiting list was started. Public relations placements included multiple radio interviews and print placements in The Boulder Daily Camera and the official Frozen Dead Guy Days program guide. Two games were played on Saturday, one on Sunday.
One of the players, journalist Richard Carriero, opened his Yahoo! News story about the festival with his experience playing the game. He wrote:
It’s 3:00 on a snowy afternoon in the Rocky Mountains. My wife and I are under a tent in the freezing cold, standing onstage with two other couples. We’re about to play the Newly Dead Game. It’s not a particularly grand affair, with an audience of perhaps 50, but it’s the content that is unique.
The host, Gail Rubin, author of A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, asks a series of questions, to which we secretively write our answers on large pads with magic marker. Unlike the usual Dating Game queries, these questions deal with how well each spouse knows the other’s final wishes.
My wife and I get the first one right—we know our mothers’ maiden names (a vital piece of knowledge on a death certificate). We get the second—we know that we both want to be cremated. At the third—What is your spouse’s most prized possession and who would he/she want to have it after death?—we balk. My wife partially guesses correctly (my typewriter) but with my literal bent of mind, I fail to guess hers: her memories. As runners up we receive a signed copy of Gail’s book, which I later read in morbid fascination.
Funerals – The Party No One Wants to Plan
Why do people hesitate to discuss funeral planning, let alone do anything concrete about it in advance?
Social psychologists cite Dr. Ernest Becker’s Terror Management Theory, spelled out in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Denial of Death. All human behavior is ultimately motivated by the fear of death. Death creates anxiety, not only because it can strike at unexpected and random moments, but because its nature is essentially unknowable.
The awareness of our own eventual death, called “mortality salience,” affects our decision-making in the face of this terror. Many people decide to avoid the topic. But you can get the conversation started by bringing The Newly-Dead Game to your community!
How The Newly-Dead Game Can Help Your Business
Those who work with families experiencing a recent or impending death know the upheaval and difficulties when there’s been no estate planning or advance funeral plans in place. Wouldn’t you be a hero if you could help them avoid such problems?
You know how much better it could be for your clients if they discuss their desires and values before death changes the family forever. But it’s always been sometime in the future… something they would get around to… eventually. The Newly-Dead Game is a game-changer.
Would you like people to come to your establishment? Hosting the game at your facilities can bring an entirely new light to the funeral or estate planning process. Potential customers can witness an event that will make them smile, rather than sad. It will get them laughing, thinking, looking at their partner and saying, “Do you want that?”
Public Relations = News Coverage
The Newly-Dead Game can help you get local news coverage of your establishment. By holding the game and alerting the media to this unique event, you can get great visibility your competitors will envy.
You don’t need to be a public relations professional to successfully contact the news media in your local community. But you do need the tools and guidance to show the way.
The Newly-Dead Game Public Relations Package gives you everything you need to work with your local media. Look at everything you get to conduct a successful media campaign for local news coverage:
- The Newly-Dead Game, including game rules, 28 question cards, four score cards, directions for conducting a successful event, and supply list – only available through this offer!
- A step-by-step public relations plan with specific directions on how to pitch your local news media … inside information worth thousands of dollars.
- Sample scripts for telephone and email contact with local news media … the words are all written for you!
- Artwork for The Newly-Dead Game that includes a 24” by 36” full color poster, color and black-and-white game logos for high-resolution print and low-resolution online usage, and artwork for screen projection … all the logos and signage you need for a professional presentation.
- Template news release and media advisory to promote The Newly-Dead Game at your establishment, plus a complete press kit … just add your own information!
- Fact sheets on The Newly-Dead Game and Create a Great Funeral Day.
- Customizable Op-Ed column about Create a Great Funeral Day to send the editor of the opinion page of your local newspaper … media attention without paying for advertising.
- A model/talent release form for game participants … keep your attorney happy.
- Plus a 30-minute consultation with public relations professional Gail Rubin on how to make the most of your local PR outreach with The Newly-Dead Game … this benefit alone is worth the cost of the package!
All of these items come in an electronic zip file download, delivered immediately after your online purchase. The Newly-Dead Game Public Relations Package is available for $300. Act now!
You could spend thousands of dollars with a public relations firm to undertake a local media campaign of this scope, or you could spend a fraction of that with The Newly-Dead Game Public Relations Package.