So McDonald's (being the sensible Olympic sponsor that it is), is launching a program that will enable up to 300 kids from around the world to travel to the 2008 Olympic Games to share their stories and experiences with their local communities and hometown news outlets. Through this once-in-a-lifetime journey, the "McDonald's Champion Kids" will have the chance to see the Games, meet Olympic athletes, visit cultural sights, and interact with kids from across the globe.
Sponsors love to play the "kids card." Do it for the kids, and you can't go wrong, right? Send some kids to a baseball game, get some free press, send some to the Olympics, get more free press. Athletes are also involved in kids programs. Sign a couple basketballs, hang out with some kids and an athlete becomes a good guy, right?
Even Shaq's doing the kids thing, with ABC's "Shaq's Big Family Challenge," where he has six months to get six fat kids into shape.
I'd really like to see a field-day style competition between McDonald's Kids and Shaq's Kids. Here's how it would play out:
Tug-of-War - On average, Shaq's kids are stronger, but the McDonald's kids get to choose the 6 fattest of the fat to compete in this event. It's an easy victory for the Big Mac Attack.
Relay Race - Race organizers decide to use McRibs in place of batons for this event. Shaq's troops pull out the victory, as the first McDonald's racer decides to eat the baton, instead of pass it.
Basketball Shoot - The Mikey D's kids have old MJ commercials to watch, and Shaq's kids suffer from an inability to make free throws...
Hurdles (Special Coach's Challenge: Shaq vs. Ronald McDonald) - Even at 300+ pounds, Shaq still has more ups and more agility than Ronny, whose funny red shoes team with gravity to give him a giant 2 inch vertical leap. Shaq secures the victory.
Shuttle Race - It's readily apparent that McD's kids aren't familiar with real food, One of them eats the wooden block and describes it as "heavenly." Shaq's kids, who have participated in every event so far, are too tired to even walk, yet still manage to crawl to victory, while McD's Kids are trying to get the wooden block added to the value menu.
The Verdict- Shaq's Kids win. However, they are tired of coach Shaq and are hungry. Everyone eats McDonald's and is happy. Great PR and ROI for McDonalds.