“If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking.”

George S. Patton, General U. S. Army

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

Mark Twain

"The ancestor of every action is thought."


"All that we are is the result of what we have thought."


"When you are not told what to do you begin to think what to do."

Roger Cohen, Op-Ed Columnist New York Times

"No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking."


"Never be afraid to sit awhile and think."

Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

"You and I are not what we eat; we are what we think."

Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course

"Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?"

Winnie the Pooh

"Time to think matters ─ at least if we’re interested in getting the answers right."

Stephen L. Carter

"Thinking is always out of order, interrupts all ordinary activities and is interrupted by them."

Hannah Arendt, Life of the Mind

"Too often we…enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."

John F. Kennedy

"The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds."

Will Durant

"Thinking is like living and dying. Each of us must do it for himself."

Josiah Royce

"Some people get lost in thought because it's such unfamiliar territory."

G. Behn

"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking."

Albert Einstein

"Pursuing our thoughts in silent contemplation takes an investment in time that few can spare."

Stephen L. Carter

"A moment’s thinking is an hour in words."

Thomas Hood

"Sometimes I think and other times I am."

Paul, Variete: Cantiques spirituels 192

"To think is to differ."


"To think is to live."


"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."

William Jones

"What we think, we become."


"Our job is not to make up anybody’s mind, but to open minds and to make the agony of the decision-making so intense you can escape only by thinking."


"The person who thinks before he speaks is silent most of the time."


"Think ─ and you will be very lonely."


"Thought is action in rehearsal."


"We live in a world that leaves very little time to contemplate."


"Don’t worry too much about what people think because they seldom do."


"Invest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest."


"One cannot think crooked and walk straight."


"Think Differently + Do Things Differently = Better Results"


May 10, 2016

A Cracker Jack Idea?

Tags: Business, Promotion, Digital Communications, Branding, Design,

Remember eating peanuts and Cracker Jacks at the ballpark? Finding a free prize inside? Blowing into the half-filled cardboard box to make obnoxious noises? Well forget all that. Today the guy sitting next to you is allergic to peanuts. The free prize is a video game card. And the waxed box is now a flimsy bag. Oh, and Cracker Jack just updated its iconic logo. Let’s hope they haven’t added kale to the ingredients.

Truth be told, the paper Cracker Jack prizes of late have been on the chintzy side. But now the brand "embraces a modernized, young-at-heart attitude," and the parent company, PepsiCo's Frito-Lay, is ending their 125-year tradition of including a toy prize inside and replacing it with stickers containing digital codes. 

All you need to get in on the action is a smartphone.

Fans of the caramel-coated popcorn and peanut combo (concocted by a German immigrant named F. W. Rueckheim in 1872) will have to first download an app and then scan the sticker to play one of four "baseball-themed experiences."

The company is hoping you’ll forget about the toys and play its new digital games: Dot Dash, Dance Cam, Baseball Star, and Get Carded.

According to Haston Lewis, senior director of marketing at Frito-Lay, "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."

I prefer the toy myself.

Preferably one made by an artist named Carey Cloud, the genius who created, produced and delivered over 700 million toys for the Cracker Jack Company from 1938 to 1965.

Described as “a man who made Santa Claus look like a piker,” Cloud was offered the dream job of making toys for Cracker Jack and always had fond memories of the very first one he designed: a bobble head tin animal.

In one particular year, Cloud figured he manufactured 45 million toys for the company. He estimated that if each child played with their prize for only 10 minutes, he had provided nearly 7.5 million hours of play in just 12 months (Question: Do kids even play anymore?).

Because he was always “thinking toys,” everything around him served as inspiration. He had two U.S. plants pumping out the gems after Cracker Jack stopped buying its toys from Japan.

During the Second World War, when metal was scarce, Cloud — ever the creative problem-solver — made do with metal scraps from the lids of Ball Brothers glass jars. These scraps were quickly converted into goofy coins and daffy dollars. Some one hundred million of them went directly into the snack boxes. No rationing necessary.

The only toy Cloud could remember being recalled was a metal sea captain who had the bad luck to resemble Joseph Stalin, the Russian dictator.

Legend has it that a salesman sampled a handful of the caramel snack in 1890 and cried out, “That sure was a Cracker Jack...!” (21st century translation: a surefire winner).

I can’t say the same about the sticker with the digital code but everyone and everything must “change-or-die,” and the Prize Inside apparently got the message.

From paper coupons redeemable for premiums...to sharp metal toys perfect for choking on...to plastic molds with break-off parts...and cardboard pinball games with plastic covers...to disappointing paper inserts...

It’s time to take me out to the smartphone.

Anita Alvare (bio)/Alvare Associates/610-520-6140

Cracker Jack  Prize Inside   Carey Cloud   Digital Codes

Since establishing Alvaré in 1981, Anita has guided the agency through 37 years of steady growth and success. A marketing communications entrepreneur who has done it all, she remains deeply involved in strategic planning and creative direction, bringing extensive knowledge and insight to each client project.


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Comments (3)

Richard Robinson

America was a great country when Cracker Jack came in a box and a kid could find a prize inside. According to my father my first driver’s license came in one of those boxes.


I remember my dad wheeling me along the boardwalk in O. C. in a gigantic metal stroller and myself whining a lot because I had to be in it. I can still remember him saying “Dear, the cutoff age for whining is 6.” And “Aren’t you glad you don’t have to eat one of those awful cotton candies!”

I remember the excitement of those little things. I remember feigning the craving for a certain cereal when all I really wanted was the secret toy that would make every one who had one a Super Detective.  Now there’s an app for that.


Hi Anita,
Love the ending “take me out to the smartphone”.
Not having the “ballgame” listed did not stop me from singing the whole tune and imagining I was at Connie Mack stadium or Broomall Little League field.

I was fond of the song but not of the taste of cracker jack.  Give me a Mallo Cup and the card insert that would add up to free Mallo Cups and I was in heaven.

Back to my smartphone I go….