Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Can Kit Kat Do Nothing Right?

From the age of eight till 22, I obsessively watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (although always fast-forwarding past the boring stuff with the poor people, the psychedelic freak out in the chocolate tunnel, and the burping machine).

I'm sure we all agree that the best part, next to the actual visit to the chocolate factory, is the hunt for the golden ticket. We live with Charlie the excitement of buying his first Wonka Bar…and the disappointment when there is nothing inside. We are struck by disillusionment when the fat German kid, Augustus, finds his ticket. And we are awash in schadenfraude when Augustus and the other little piglets are knocked off one by one by the Oompa Loompas.

You see, we root for Charlie because we are Charlie. (Except that my grandparents, unlike Charlie's, do not all sleep in the same bed, but rather two separate beds, and call each other "mother" and "father.")

It was inevitable, then, that the marketers—those magical brainworkers who created the pansy Kit Kat and the manly Yorkie—would one day capitalize on the ingenious Golden Ticket scheme.

There were a thousand wonderful things they could've done with the promo: the gifting of a chocolate factory; a lifetime supply of Raisenets; an all-exclusive trip to the Hershey chocolate spa and hotel in Pennsylvania…

But no, THIS is what they did.

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