Monday, May 05, 2008

Cookie Monster in China

The latest triumph of American cultural imperialism is the rise of Oreos as the best-selling treats in China after a marketing blitz to teach kids there to love milk and cookies.

An "apprentice program" at 30 universities trained 300 students to ride around Beijing on bicycles outfitted with wheel covers shaped like Oreos and hand out hundreds of thousands of samples.

TV commercials promoted the idea of pairing cookies and milk, showing kids twisting apart Oreos, licking the cream center and dipping the cookie halves.

It worked, but local tastes forced the manufacturer to reinvent the almost 100-year-old American favorite as a less sweet, long, thin, four-layered cookie coated in chocolate. No plans as yet to insert slips of paper with predictions for the future, but multiculturalism is on the march.

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