Woolworths’ animal cards promotion proves low-tech strategy can work in a high-tech world

My Facebook feed erupted this week with anger; non-parent anger over parental obsession. Maybe you know what I’m talking about? It started with posts like “I need cards 5, 36, and 45 to complete Jimmy’s collection” and ended with “If one more person posts about bloody animal cards I’m unfriending them!”

Yep, it’s officially 1984 again and swap cards are all the rage. The 100 cards given out for free by supermarket chain Woolworths are highly prized by parents, grandparents and even the occasional child, and I have friends who never shop at this chain racing over there to make sure they stock up on cards for their kids.

I’m not immune. I was astounded and very grateful recently as a lady in front of me at the checkout with adult children handed my 2.5 year old a fistful of cards from her $300+ grocery shop. But I must admit – I have no idea what cards we’re missing, only that we have a shark and that a shark (according to my daughter) can eat a parrot (but you shouldn’t let it).

In chatting with my lovely checkout lady yesterday she told me my supermarket had actually run out of cards, so successful was the promotion, and then she proceeded to tell me that she’d bought the commemorative album for her grandkids.

Now would this campaign have been more successful if instead of a small piece of cardboard it involved an iPad or a computer? I doubt it. Sometimes it pays to look to the past and think simple.

From broke at 19 to retired at 27, Kirsty Dunphey is an entrepreneur, mother and author, and lives by the motto Memento Vivere (remember to live).



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