Super User

Super User

The HOLIDAY WISH GUIDE™ (Gift Guide) is evolving this year with a pretty big change: It will not include toys and games. For the best in toys and games, please check out The Toy Insider's 2019 Holiday Gift Guide, for which The Rock Father™ serves as Senior Editor.

Much like the paper catalogs of old, the annual Holiday Wish Guide™ has become a digital tradition the features items that families wish that they had. In past years, Holiday Wish Guide™ features have been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of readers from the U.S. and around the globe. 

2019 Categories:

  • For the Home
  • Tech
  • Holiday Cheer
  • Food

Submissions for the 2019 HOLIDAY WISH GUIDE should be in by November 1, 2019.

Due to demand, late submissions will still be considered this year.

Send Pitches to: james [at] therockfather.com

When Submitting Material for Review: Please keep in mind that due to the volume of items received, coverage is not guaranteed. Items will be accepted into the Holiday Wish Guide™ at The Rock Father's sole discretion. This is entirely subjective and comes down to the decision of James Zahn.

So you've got a new crowdfunding effort going on Kickstarter, IndieGoGo or a similar platform? Very cool, and I'm glad you've thought of The Rock Father™ now that it's come time to promote it. Within the few years of doing this site, I'd heard from hundreds of eager crowdfunders looking for help in bringing exposure to their projects. Some that have been featured by The Rock Father™ have successfully met their goals, while many have not. By 2014, my experience as publisher of The Rock Father™ Magazine coupled with my previous editorial work led me to the conclusion that crowdfunding is not news.

No matter what the project, at the end of the day, approaching me to post a "news item" on your Kickstarter (or similar) effort is asking me to help someone that I don't know ask other people (my readers) for money. That said, my time is valuable, and going forward, all crowdfunding efforts will fall into the same general category of a "sponsored post" or "advertorial."

I will gladly consider featuring your project if it fits within what I usually do here on The Rock Father™, and if it's of interest to me. This is completely at my editorial discretion, which means that few will likely be given the opportunity to be featured in my virtual pages for a nominal fee (again, on a case-by-case basis). I do not feature many crowdfunding projects, and when I do, it needs to be something that I'm genuinely interested in first and foremost. 

If interested in submitting your project for potential coverage, please email james [at] therockfather.com. Again, an inclusion fee will be required.

Effective January 2019: As part of James Zahn's transition to Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy BookThe Pop Insider, and The Toy Insider, submissions for toys, games, movies and television projects can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for coverage in those publications. For The Rock Father Magazine — music, auto, garden, lifestyle, tech, sports — please use This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please DO NOT send "follow-up" emails on press releases or review materials.

News Items and Pitches: The Rock Father™ Magazine focuses on Music & Lifestyle for Families that Rock. Submissions will be accepted in the categories of music, automotive (Rock Father Rides), home & garden, DIY, tech, fashion, food & drink, health & wellness, travel, sports entertainment, family events and Chicagoland local.

  • EVENT COVERAGE REQUESTS: Please note that THE ROCK FATHER is based in Northern Illinois, about 50 miles outside of Chicago. 
  • Crowdfunding efforts including Kickstarter and IndieGoGo projects are no longer considered "news," and are now considered to be advertorial in nature. For information on getting your crowdfunding effort covered on The Rock Father, please click here.
  • GUEST POSTS: THE ROCK FATHER does not accept guest posts.
  • INTERVIEW REQUESTS: With very rare exception, we are not currently conducting interviews or seeking interview subjects.

Review Materials: For physical items email james [at] therockfather.com for a mailing/shipping address. With certain exceptions (such as vehicles that are on loan), review materials will not be returned. 

Music: We are not currently reviewing music.

When Submitting Material for Review: Please keep in mind that due to the volume of items received, coverage is not guaranteed. Follow-ups on news submissions and review materials are not necessary and are strongly discouraged.

Monday, December 30 2013 23:33

Advertising on The Rock Father:

If you're here, I'm thrilled that you're considering advertising with The Rock Father.

Since 2011, as my site has grown, so have the opportunities to work with select advertisers, brands and partners. While basic display advertising is certainly available in a variety of standard sizes and options, custom campaigns are also available.

Beyond the standard, The Rock Father is interested in creating engaging, original sponsored content. This includes sponsored posts, advertorials, contests, giveaways, sponsored tweets and social media actions, video creation, commercials... anything we can come up with that will be a benefit to my readers and your company.

The Rock Father is proud to have worked with the following companies (and more):

Kids & Family:
  • American Greetings/Cardstore
  • Baby Center
  • Boba Baby
  • Boogie Wipes
  • Bright Star Kids
  • BuySeasons/BuyCostumes
  • Chuck E. Cheese's
  • Costume Express
  • Disney
  • Elo Pillow
  • gDiapers
  • Gurnee Mills (A Simon Center)
  • Hallmark
  • Hasbro
  • Hub Network
  • Huggies
  • Huggies Pull-Ups
  • Hylands
  • LEGO
  • Mattel
  • MEGA Brands
  • Portable North Pole
  • RUUM: American Kid's Wear
  • Spin Master Toys
  • Sports Illustrated Kids
  • Sprout
  • Step2
  • Toy State
  • Costume Express
Automotive/Rock Father Rides:
  • Chevrolet
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • Feld Motorsports
  • General Motors
  • GMC
  • Hankook Tires
  • Hot Wheels
  • KIA Motors America
  • Mazda
  • Mitsubishi
  • Subaru
  • Turtle Wax
  • Walmart Automotive
Food and Beverage:
  • 5-Hour Energy
  • Annie's Homegrown
  • Applebee's
  • Celestial Seasonings
  • Dole
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Folgers
  • General Mills
  • International Delight
  • The J.M. Smucker Company
  • KIND Snacks
  • KRAFT Foods
  • National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association
  • Pop Secret
  • Red Robin
  • Sara Lee
  • Silk AlmondMilk
  • Snyder's of Hanover
  • Starbucks
  • Tombstone Pizza
  • Wild Ophelia Chocolates
  • Dove Men+Care
  • Electrolux
  • Eureka
  • Gurnee Mills
  • The LIFE Foundation
  • Rubbermaid
  • Schick
  • Teleflora
  • Whirlpool
  • ASUS
  • Best Buy
  • Brother USA
  • Epson
  • ESET
  • JBL
  • Microsoft
  • Nokia
  • Panasonic USA
  • Samsung
  • Comedy Central Records
  • Disney
  • Fandango Family Digital Network
  • Feld Entertainment
  • Hub Network
  • Netflix Stream Team
  • New Wave Dynamics
  • Rhino Records
  • Sprout Channel (NBC Universal)
  • Summit Entertainment
  • TuneCore
  • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Universal Music Enterprises
  • Victory Records
  • Warner Bros. Records
  • WWE: World Wrestling Entertainment

Would you like to talk? If so, email james [at] therockfather.com

Monday, December 30 2013 00:00

The Rock Father in the Press and Mass Media:

Over the years, James Zahn aka "The Rock Father™" and/or his work have appeared in the press and mainstream media on occasion. In 2020, this continues as part of his role as Senior Editor of The Toy Book, The Pop Insider, and The Toy Insider.

James is available for interviews, television appearances, and public speaking engagements with a focus on entertainment, family, parenting, fatherhood, music, toys, and culture along with retail and consumer products trends.

Select Hits:





Other Highlights:

  • 2017 Fox Business Segment: Innovations with Ed Begley Jr.
  • In the Fall of 2013, James and his girls ("The Rock Daughters") appeared on ABC News discussing toy safety for the holidays, and appeared on WGN News in a segment regarding the Kohl Children's Museum.
  • Quoted in articles for CNN, Babble, and The Huffington Post
  • Featured as one of three At-Home Dads in the 2013 Father's Day issue of Lake County Magazine
  • Has previously appeared as a guest on AC360 with Anderson Cooper on CNN, and has been interviewed on NBC and in The Chicago Tribune.

Interested in booking James? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Created on November 2, 2013 | Updated April 7, 2015:

I will preface this by stating that this page was originally posted based on a massive influx of bogus entries toward the Fall of 2013. It has since been expanded upon based on personal experiences, and discussion with both sponsors and entrants. Every point addressed here is done so based upon a real-life experience that has prompted it...

Contests and Giveaways are presented on THE ROCK FATHER on a regular basis. These are posted as, and meant to be, fun and engaging opportunities on behalf of my sponsors. There's few things that I enjoy more than bringing some joy to a family or child by being able to provide some cool prizes from time-to-time. Happy families and happy kids is what THE ROCK FATHER is all about.

What I'm not about is providing opportunities for those who choose to abuse or make an attempt to game the system through fraudulent entry methods, multiple "dummy" accounts, or for those who do not follow simple rules. I am also not here to provide income-fueling items for the so-called "professional" sweepers (what that term entails seems to be open to interpretation by many) - but regular contesters or enthusiasts are certainly welcome (as long as they follow the rules)! While most of my promotions feature winners chosen at random (via Rafflecopter and Random.org), each winner will be vetted for authenticity and to see if they've followed the rules. THE ROCK FATHER reserves the right to cancel or void any and all entry methods, and will choose an alternate winner at his discretion, or at the direction of the sponsoring party, if any.

By participating in a contest or giveaway on THE ROCK FATHER, you are agreeing that you understand and will abide by the posted rules and regulations within the individual call for entries that you are responding to, in addition to the following:
  1. You should only enter promotions on THE ROCK FATHER using genuine, authentic user accounts that are not set-up for the sole purpose of entering contests and giveaways or "sweeping" (a lot of sponsors don't like that, sorry).
  2. You may only enter promotions on THE ROCK FATHER using one user account per platform when it comes to social actions. You may not enter using multiple accounts from the same social service. In fact, if you have multiple accounts on certain platforms, you may be breaking their rules. Simple terms: Enter using one Facebook account, not twelve.
  3. Twitter "Egg" accounts will not be eligible for entering promotions on THE ROCK FATHER. Many sponsors do not feel that these are "real" accounts, so if they are, please at least post a proper user image and fill out the profile. Otherwise they look like potential spam, and may even (and will most likely) be flagged by automated systems as such. If you enter a promotion using an "Egg" account, that particular vote is ineligible. Furthermore, "Egg" accounts may be blocked.

Please be aware that Rafflecopter and other entry devices employed by THE ROCK FATHER do log IP addresses. Bottom line: If I see six different accounts with the same IP addy - you're out.

After Promotion Etiquette: 
  1. You agree not to contact myself or the sponsor regarding when/if winners have been pulled. The phrase "on or about" (included in all promotions) truly means "on or about." If a promotion ends at midnight, I don't need an email at 3am asking if I've chosen the winners yet. I may choose immediately - it could be two weeks. Winners will be contacted via email.
  2. If you are a winner: Please note that each promotion specifically lists "please allow 8-12 weeks for shipping" of prizing. This truly means, "please allow 8-12 weeks." If it has only been three weeks, please do not email me asking where your prize is. Generally, aside from the rare occasion where I am handling shipping directly, once I turn the winner's info over to sponsors or their third-party PR reps, I never hear about the promotion ever again. This means that I do not have shipping ETAs or tracking numbers - and sometimes, there will not be tracking numbers.
  3. As noted on each promotion, in the very rare case that a prize does not arrive (which, sadly, has happened), you have no remedy other than moving on. Mistakes happen. Packages get lost, stolen or damaged. Everyone is trying to do good, but sometimes things happen. 
Have any issues with any of the above?
  • Don't enter. Very simple solution. Don't spoil the fun for everyone else. No complaints. 

The Internet (and the World in general) is not a very fair place. These checks and balances have been put into place to ensure that THE ROCK FATHER - my corner of the World - is as fair to all as possible. No promotion will every be 100% perfect, but I'd certainly like to try getting them as close to that as possible. Real Fun. Real Readers. Real Human Beings. No B.S.

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