Recently, Australia’s fast food industry agreed to a voluntary code to govern the way it markets products to children. McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Hungry Jack's, Oporto, Red Rooster and Chicken Treat (who?) have signed up to the code which sets new nutrition standards for the foods featured in television advertisements, and other marketing efforts, which target the under-14s. Read more here >>
It made me think of when I was a kid and the advertising that fast food chains used to throw at me. I remember the “two all beef patties, special sauce …” Big Mac jingle and the “When you taste Kentucky Nuggets, what do you do?” jingle.
But the most enduring fast food marketing memory from my childhood was the McDonalds colouring calendars. Do you remember them? Man I used to hang out for them so bad over the December period.
In case you don’t remember them or your memory is a little hazy then they were 12-month calendars where each month had a picture to colour in (I think they may have even come with coloured pencils) but at the bottom was a tear-off voucher that could only be used during that month e.g. free apple pie.
The idea was great because
1 – It armed the kids with a weapon to get Mum and Dad to take them to McDonalds (and it was time bound),
2 – It was available in December/January when lots of families were travelling for Christmas and holidays and it was easy and/or a treat to take the kids to McDonalds,
3 – The colouring in aspect help keep the kids occupied during the holiday period
Why the hell did they ever get rid of them?