business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Chicago Tribune reports that PepsiCo-owned Cracker Jack "is replacing what have lately been crummy little trinkets like temporary tattoos with crummy little matrix bar codes for things you can play with on your phone."

"The new Prize Inside allows families to enjoy their favorite baseball moments through a new one-of-a-kind mobile experience, leveraging digital technology to bring the iconic Prize Inside to life," says Haston Lewis, the company's director of marketing.

Now, the story notes that Cracker Jack, in part because of concerns about public safety (at one time, the prizes were actually made out of lead), has gradually lowered the quality of the prizes. This new move is part of an ongoing effort to make Cracker Jack seem more contemporary ... though having the Tribune suggest that the digital prize is just as "crummy" as a temporary tattoo probably wasn't in the game plan.

The Eye-Opening lesson, I think, is that just making something digital doesn't necessarily make something modern, or relevant. Products actually have to be relevant.
KC's View: