So, once again the Monopoly game is upon us. This in no cause for vexation for me; in fact, I quite enjoy the Monopoly game that McDonald’s offers, and when it is offered I tend to gravitate towards McDonald’s for lunch. “Gravitate” being an especially appropriate word given what two cheesburgers and a McFlurry does to my wasteline.
This year, however, you have added a twist- the “Pick Your Prize!” aspect. This, in and of itself, is not my bone to pick; in fact, it seems a stroke of marketing genius. You offer no more prizes than before, but by allowing winners to choose from one of three prizes in each category, you can capture more people’s imaginations. Rather than a simple ‘vacation get-away’ for gathering the Orange stickers, one may now choose between Cancun, the Bahamas, or Aspen for a trip. Green tokens allow for winning a car- but rather than a single offering which may or may not appeal to a person, now one may choose between a Sequoia, Spyder, or a Tundra. Even the Deep Blue tokens- which have, for as long I can remember, given away a million dollars- now offers the options of cash, gold, or diamonds. While the cash option is the most sensible, there is something about having a Brink’s truck arrive carrying one’s annual receipt of a gold bowling ball that flutters the imagination. A very good show, McDonald’s marketeers.
Except for the Purple tokens. The low-end prize, the smallest prize available through token collection. This year, you offer $20. Not bad, but you decided to extend the idea of the “Choose Your Prize!” option to this, as well. And thus, one can have ones’ $20 in one of three forms:
A $20 bill.
Two $10 bills.
Four $5 bills.
Folks, this is just downright pathetic. Did you even think about how silly that looks? On the higher end prizes, you offer dreams and fantasies fulfilled. On this $20 prize, you offer change-making ability. Did you even think about finding other alternatives? How about Gift Certificates? Free music CDs? If one has to keep to cash, why not throw in 20 Sacajaweas? Two rolls of quarters and directions to the local arcade? Deustchmarks? Yen?
And if you must keep to giving out $20 in American money (easy to simply take from the till, I suppose), why even keep up the pretext of a choice? Why pretend that the difference between a $20 and four $5s is akin to the difference between $10,000 in Home Improvements and $10,000 in Summer Sporting Goods?