Girl Scout Cookies Are Marketing Magic

by Kevin Burton

   Let’s open another box of cookies, shall we?

   Yesterday on Page 7 we established that October is National Cookie Month.  If you’re like me you have let several Octobers go by without having this knowledge.  But it/s never too late to make up for lost time.

   One of the best marketing ideas ever cooked up in corporate America was to have girl scouts sell cookies. Scouting used to be an unquestioned rite of passage for boys and girls.  Few would speak against it, even fewer would speak against cookies.

   I may have just encountered one of the worst marketing ideas too. The website will not let me through to see the cookie varieties unless I— wait for it—accept their cookies! You know the invasive, track-your-world, computer kind of cookies. 

   Everybody loves thin mints. I like the lemon varieties when they have them. But there was one other cookie that they had two years ago that I could NOT stop eating.  To open the bag was to finish the bag. I don’t remember the name of it and I have just stopped trying to find it because of their computer cookie policy.

   This is all for the best, because I have recently acquired a large freezer.  I estimate this freezer can accommodate approximately three dozen boxes of cookies.  If I don’t have them, I can’t eat them. 

   I did find out on the site that there is a new Girl Scout cookie called the “adventureful.” That is “An indulgent brownie-inspired cookie with caramel-flavored crème and a hint of sea salt,” according to their website. 

   The first Girl Scout cookie sales were in 1917, during the era of another global pandemic. Not sure how that pandemic dampened sales but the current one put a hurtin’ on the business.  But scouts are nothing if not resourceful and sales have moved to the internet like everything else, according to a story on  

   There are cookie fragments strewn all about our cultural landscape and even language.  This begins with a “cookie” as a person to be defined by an adjective.  “Smart cookie” and “tough cookie” are the most common examples.

   “That’s the way the cookie crumbles,” is an idiom meaning “those are the breaks,” or “that’s just the way things go.  “Cookie-cutter’ as an adjective means ordinary or formulaic. Cookie-cutter houses in Levittown, Pennsylvania for example. 

  Being caught with one’s hand in the cookie jar, means being caught red-handed, in the very act of something naughty. 

   “Cookie pusher” is one I hadn’t heard of. It’s the rough equivalent of a brown-noser.

   To “toss one’s cookies” is the most unfortunate cookie association I can find. It means to vomit. 

  This brings us back in a strange way to our friend Cookie Monster. Yesterday I said it was ridiculous to have him saying that cookies are a “sometimes food” when heretofore his entire raison d’etre had been to devour cookies.

   Remember the episode where it was his birthday and his friends said they had gotten him one cookie. He was disappointed in the quantity until the last scene when we saw that the cookie had the circumference of your average trampoline.

   That’s the real Cookie Monster.

   Seems to me CM would only have to talk about sometimes food if the parents were too brainless to do so.

   One alternative idea for Sesame Street would be to have him devouring cookies as usual. Then in a later scene you would see him with green fur instead of blue, and a monstrous stomach ache.  His human friends could offer him cookies as usual.

    You could have him say, “Ooo, uggh! Me pay price for too much cookie…uhh…oh…”

   I suppose that would scare the kiddies though.

   There is no evidence that cookie monster ever tossed his cookies after one of his binges. Maybe that’s how you tell an amateur cookie monster from the real thing, whether you can hold your cookies. 

   But here’s something else you didn’t know about Cookie Monster: it wasn’t always cookies he went crazy for. 

   Google “cookie monster munchos” and you will see him in a commercial devouring an entire bag of the potato crisps when they first hit the market. He eats the bag too.  Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, allowed very few of them to appear in commercials.

   This concludes my report on national Cookie month.  One of my girls scout cookie suppliers reads this blog sometimes, and I know she remembers my cookie of choice.

   Do I hope or not hope she will refresh my memory by putting the answer in comments below?  There is all this room in the freezer….

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