Because of its good-natured, yet slightly sinister nature, a dunk tank typically does not require a great deal of advertising -- at least not in the traditional sense. If the subject seated on the platform is someone others would like to see dunked -- a school principal, local politician or loud-mouth clown, for example -- taunting passersby at a street fair or carnival will usually do the trick. Still, dunk tanks are not inexpensive. A day-long rental can cost from $300 to $500, and purchasing one can cost as much as $2,000. As with an investment aimed at making money, it is a good idea to publicize a dunk tank to maximize interest -- and return on investment.

Select an appropriate "victim" who will compel people to pay for the chance to see him plunged into the drink. For example, a recent street fair in Monrovia, California, promoted a dunk tank to raise money for charity by deploying a "social media blitz." Local residents were encouraged to dunk elected officials, off-duty police officers and others. Each playfully taunted people walking by. The subjects should be encouraged to promote the effort to friends and family.

Distribute flyers to promote the dunk tank before the event and while it is taking place. Each flyer can be exchanged for one free shot at the dunk tank target. This can help stir interest and draw a crowd. The excitement is likely to attract others nearby who gravitate to the crowd. If the subject is a teacher or principal, they should be asked to spread the word to students and invite them to stop by to attempt a "revenge dunk."

Use a public address system that enables the subject to call people over. A clown at a street festival in New York City could be heard saying, "Hey you! I'll bet you can't dunk me. What's the matter? You got a chicken arm?" When the subject is dunked he can respond, "Lucky shot! Let's see you do it again." The microphone should extend from the side and not be held in the subject's hand or it will be damaged when submerged. A carnival barker can also stand outside the tank and use the same tactic.

Contact local newspapers and ask them to alert readers about the dunk tank. This is particularly effective if it is a charity event. If it is a multiday event, provide a photo from the first day, or if it is held annually, offer an image from the previous year's event. Local TV news outlets should also be invited to cover the event. The image of people splashing into a tank makes for a lighthearted story and fun imagery.

Things You Will Need
  • A dunk tank (also called a "dunking machine" or "dunking booth"); this typically consists of a large tank or pool of water over which a seat or platform is suspended. A nearby target tips the seat when it is struck by a ball.

  • Water, usually about 250 gallons, with a source that can replenish as needed

  • A means of disposing of the water without creating a flood


Advance advertising is important. So is promoting the dunk tank while it is open. Keep the mood fun and upbeat and a crowd will gather.

If the subject remains undunked after several attempts, have someone hit the target with their hand to show that it works -- and entice the crowd.

If using a clown, make certain his face makeup will not wash away after a few dunks.

Have several subjects available to maintain the energy.

Maintain a constant flow of activity even if you must offer free attempts. Some dunk tanks also give a small prize to those who are successful.


Whether renting, buying or constructing a dunk tank, make sure it is highly dependable. Keep the crowd at a distance to ensure unwitting folks do not get splashed.

Test the dunk tank several times before opening it to the public. Make absolutely certain the tub holding the water is secure and will not break.

A protective barrier -- bars or a cage -- should remain in front of the subject at all times to ensure people do not throw balls directly at him.

Make sure the subject does not make personal or mean-spirited comments to entice people. They can be misinterpreted and lead to unwanted confrontations.