Friday, January 18, 2008

McDonald's brilliant ad campaign on children's report cards

This is brilliant! Advertising on little children's report cards is inspirational. Sometimes I think I'm good at promoting the war books and children's books I publish at Southfarm Press and then I am humbled by something like this.

Why didn't I think of advertising our books on children's report cards? Why? After all, it is important to grab children's minds and preferences while they are really young. Those preferences will likely stay with them their whole lives. Like me. My father worked 49 years for the firm that marketed Karo syrups, pure corn syrups. My baby formula was 50% milk, 50% red label Karo. So I consumed Karo as a kid up the kazoo.

Now that I've been diagnosed as being diabetic, I look wistfully at the bottles of green label Karo (tastes like maple) on my shelves. I've thrown away everything else with sugar in it except those Karo bottles calling me from the dark shadows of the top kitchen shelf.

The McDonald's Happy Meals “food prize” program for students of the Seminole County Public Schools in kindergarten through fifth grade was sponsored by the owners of the McDonald’s restaurants in Seminole County, in central Florida near DisneyWorld. You know they know what kids like.

Quotes by teachers on report cards about individual children, such as, " Linda is a very good student. Anyone can tell she has been trained at home. She is in the A class," can be supplemented for parents with statements like this: "Linda, by her girth and waist, obviously enjoys many happy hours with Happy Meals. You should be so proud Linda 'Made the Grade.'" 'Made the Grade' is the name of the McDonald's reward program for children.

“Check your grades,” McDonald's advised. “Reward yourself with a Happy Meal from McDonald’s.”

I have copyrighters working overtime right now to create copy to put on children's report cards for our book, Abe Lincoln and the Frontier Folk of New Salem:

"A must for all honest little children seriously interested in honest Abe's early life." This is my favorite so far.

The decision to end the McDonald's promotions appearing on children’s report card jackets came from executives at the national McDonald’s Corporation. They must be kicking themselves in their Happy Meals over at the McDonald's advertising department about parents' complaints that put an end to this brilliant, subliminal ad campaign. --Copyright 2008 by Walter Haan,


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