How Brands Are Selling the First Day of Spring

You know it’s been a seriously awful winter when the first day of spring becomes a reason for a major marketing promotion. From national movie chains to local restaurants, everyone is using today as an excuse to hand customers a discount—or hand the goods over for free, even. Is it worth flying from L.A. to Chicago just to get 20 bucks off a pair of sneakers at Universal Soul? Probably not, but it’s nice to know it’s there. 

Check out eight brands giving away the goods on this first official spring day.

1

Free Italian Ice

Rita’s is giving away free Italian ices at its 500+ locations. Hurry—the ice is melting, and the offer’s only good until 9 p.m.  

2

Dollar Flicks

R-rated movies are more fun, but you can see a PG-rated flick for just a buck thanks to Regal’s Summer Movie Express, which kicks off today. Advisory: Some movies (Authur Christmas) may feel a bit out of season. 

3

Half Off Your Pizza Pie

Domino’s is offering a 50 percent discount off all pizzas ordered online. (Does it seem like this chain is really eager to please? First the kitchen cam, and now this.)

4

Windy City Discounts

A slew of stores in greater Chicago are participating in the Countdown to Spring promo, including a tangy $10 off stir fry at a joint called Ahjoomah’s Apron.

5

State of the Onion

Never mind that Australia’s heading into winter, Outback Steakhouse restaurants in the U.S. will give you a free Bloomin’ Onion—provided that you make a dork out of yourself by verifying that you’re “Bloomin’ into Spring.”

6

Claw Your Way In

Not to be outdone, casual-dining competitor Red Lobster has kicked off its annual Lobsterfest promo. No silly saying required, just $10 off.

7

Spring Rolls—No Really

Asian restaurant chain Stir Crazy is celebrating Spring’s arrival with a “Roll into Spring” promo that’ll give you (guess what?) a free spring roll with $5 minimum purchase.

8

Slurp Something Small

Is this balmy, 40-degree weather making you jones for a free Slurpee? Dude, all you gotta do is text “DIETCOKE” to 711711 (or download the 7-Eleven app). Valid only until midnight. (Then again, you could just drop the rotten $1.19 and buy the thing.)