17 July 2006

nostalgia leading to sales

There has been talk of 1980s toys being brought back due to the nostalgia factor in those of us who are now becoming parents. We see the toys we adored so much as a child, and something happens. Our eyes light up, the memories flood back, and then we spend over $100 on Cabbage Patch Kids, My Little Ponies, Pound Puppies and Lite Brites for our children, among others. Positive associations with brands from happy times in our lives lead to loyalty beyond reason (a term I love that was coined by Kevin Roberts in Lovemarks) and money out of our pockets.

The same thing happened to me tonight at 7 Eleven. I don't know if anybody else remembers these, but in the mid 90s, they sold these brainfreeze straws... thick, colorful straws, with a plastic colorful brain encased in an icecube towards the top. When one drank a Slurpee, the color of the straw changed color. They came in four or five different colors, and I had to have every single one. I bet they're still in the cupboards of my parents' house in Florida. These straws probably came out at around the same time that 7 Eleven put out those Brain Freeze TV spots that aired alongside those kaleidoscopic Fruitopia commercials during My So-Called Life.

Well, I went in just now, 3.30am, looking for cookie dough ice cream for the boy and some frozen stir fry for myself. At the register, there they were. My beloved brainfreeze straws. They weren't packaged in any special way - just in one of those long plastic bags reserved for plastic flatware. It brightened my entire night, though. I'm going to call my parents to make sure these aren't new colors as well. If yes, they will be mine, even though I never drink anything frozen.
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