Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 25/06/96

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

And the chips played on

A few weeks ago, I commented briefly on Smith's plans to segment their chip marketing strategy by pushing Samboy at teenage boys and Lites at a young female audience. The results of that marketing strategy are now beginning to get in my face, and my reaction is a little mixed.

Having expressed some disbelief at the idea that you could drag in a 20-30 female audience simply by using Seinfeld star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, I must admit that I really like the ad. "Stuff 'em!" could easily become a catchphrase for the nation. Mind you, my fondness for this TVC may have a lot to do with the fact that Julia looks really good with straight hair, but then attractive people never hurt marketing prospects, did they?

What I'm not so convinced of is the usefulness of the Samboy strategy. I'm very taken with the Samboy Atomic Tomato flavour (pictured), but the word 'atomic' implies the following things to me:

I suspect that only the last will really appeal to the teenage market.

Elsewhere on the fast-food front, McDonald's have made a bit of a boo-boo. Currently, the Golden Arches have a promotion which offers a free TimeOut bar with every Value Meal. This is good. There are promotional cards hanging in the store, portraying people standing on a crowded train. Most look unhappy, except for the person eating the TimeOut, who has been silhouetted out of the picture. This is also good. What is not good is that the photo makes it clear that there are actually heaps of vacant seats on the train, which leads you to question why all those bogans are standing up and staring at some dufus eating a chocolate bar.

But having damned Maccas, I also have to defend them. In last week's 'The Mouth' column in The Sydney Morning Herald, Ruth Ritchie suggests that staff should replace "Would you like fries with that?" with "Would you like to pay too much for the cold chips that have been sweating in this little box for two hours?" Now, I hate upselling as much as the next Maccas addict, but this simply isn't fair. I've never been to a McDonald's and been served pre-packaged chips, they're always scooped from a shimmering pool of salt and fat and served fresh to me. And if you get the small serve, they come in a paper bag, not a box. Given that Ms Ritchie has devoted her life to eradicating focaccia from the streets of Sydney, I'm not entirely surprised she didn't have time to check this out.

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