Our man on the radio has a brilliant breakfast idea
WWhen I was a kid, breakfast always involved a cereal box, and, therefore, the highlight of breakfast was the free toy within. All those years ago I didn’t have the finely tuned marketing mind I have today; I just wanted to get my hands on whatever was at the bottom of those crispy flakes or popped rice. Now, as a grown-up, I can see one or two flaws in the parent companies’ strategies. First of all, the world back then wasn’t rampant with the complain culture it is today. As an example, I once found a large, albino spider in a jar of hotdogs. These days my parents would sue the company and get a decent spread in the Daily Mail. Back then, when I showed my Dad, he smacked me around the head for bringing the arachnid delicacy to his attention.
The cereal companies would often place toys made of small pieces of plastic directly into the cereal. Now, I’ve no idea how many kids choked on these bits before someone up the management ladder called time on the idea, but I bet some did.
Another thing that would garner complaints today would be the lack of thought about the toy-to-sibling ratio. Without fail, there was always one toy in the box. I have a younger brother. The good news (at least as far as getting the cereal toy goes) was that I suffered with insomnia and he was vampiric in his sleeping habits, therefore, I’d be up before him. The bad news was that he had a rage second to none. So, whilst I sat in the living room playing with my new toy, he would eventually trudge downstairs, slam a few kitchen cupboards, realise that the new cereal box had been opened... and then the beast would be woken.
Cue an Ali-Foreman fist-fight, replete with nipping, eye-gouging and grasping for the toy. Neither brother willing to give an inch; neither listening to our poor, screaming mother. We were deaf, dumb and blind to everything, apart from one thing… our Dad. You’ll remember him from earlier in this story. He got angry about possibly poisoned hot dogs, so his two lads ignoring his wife and destroying the living room along the way would never be looked at in a rational manner. In his words: we wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week.
Again, if that were these days, our Mum would be penning a strongly worded e-mail, a snarky Facebook post, along with a bad review on Cornflake Advisor.
So it’s a good thing that free cereal toys have gone, right? Perhaps. I know my kids aren’t interested in anything that doesn’t have Snapchat and Instagram, so I doubt they’d be happy with a cheap, cardboard code-decipher.
Maybe they’re the wrong market altogether.
Maybe companies should be marketing free retro toys to nostalgiahungry Gen-Xers and Millennials. After all, we’ve got the disposable income and a longing to grasp onto anything that pretends to halt our hastily ticking life-clocks. We’re the ideal customers. They should definitely put their free toys in our breakfasts.
Although how you’d hide a bakingsoda dragster in avocado and cloudeggs on quinoa toast is beyond me.