McDonald's is the world's largest fast food restaurant chain, serving an estimated 68 million customers daily in 119 countries. It was founded in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald, who pioneered the idea of operating a hamburger business using production line principles.

Beagles doll up sales

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 October, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 October, 1998, 12:00am

Have you collected all the McDonald's Snoopy dolls? It seemed that all Hong Kongers were crazy about the toys.

Outside the restaurants, especially the outlets in Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan and Kowloon Bay, hundreds of people lined up to buy the Snoopies, which cost $6, along with a special value meal at $17.80.

Some of my friends collected the whole set of 28 Snoopies by going to McDonald's every day.

A clever marketing strategy ensured that the fast-food chain's campaign was a resounding success even during this period of economic recession in Hong Kong.

There was a new doll every day for the duration of the campaign, which lasted for 28 days. People were urged to get the entire set so that its value would not be diminished.

A quota was also imposed on the number of Snoopies sold daily, making it more difficult for customers to collect them and increasing competition among them for the 'ultimate satisfaction' of a whole bunch of Snoopies.

Psychological factors also accounted for the promotion's success. Each toy represented a different place, including Alaska, Mexico, Mongolia, China and Japan.

Children and adults alike loved the little dolls wearing traditional costumes.

During the month-long campaign, people endured the prolonged agony caused by eating burgers and potato chips, and drinking soft drinks every day.

People who wanted to make a quick buck cashed in on the massive demand for the dolls. They bought a huge number of Snoopies from local restaurants and those in Shenzhen, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia and sold them at exhorbitant prices. Some unscrupulous people were charging as much as $1,000 for a full set of Snoopies.

This trend made the situation worse since a lot of people decided to make a profit by re- selling their collections. This hindered the real collectors, so the demand for Snoopies soared.

If you already have a whole set of Snoopies, congratulations! Others, please don't be anxious or angry. You must realise that there are more important things to do than to go after a doll.

Ngan-ying is a pupil of Sha Tin Government Secondary School



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