Whatever happened to getting a free toy in your cereal box?
As a child, I couldn’t wait to get down to the middle of the box just for a glimpse of the wrapper so I could boast to my brother that I had my eye on the prize. Literally.
The race was on to win that toy featured on the front of the box as soon as we had our first bowl. I distinctly remember a plastic deep sea diver that we were so desperate to win. Did I really used to get excited over a 6cm high deep sea diver?! As my memory recalls, apparently I did as when the toy actually fell into the bowl it was like you had won the star prize on a game show. Only, it was usually covered in cereal dust and was essentially just a plastic figurine, not a sports car.
Perhaps a miniature toy wouldn’t excite the ‘Facebook’ generation. I can’t imagine why not. But, back in the day that little toy in the box offered something different from all the other cereals on the shelf.
Where did this random old school thought come from you wonder? Bizarrely, it was sparked by my visit to the BEST WESTERN Lancashire Manor Hotel in Wigan last week. All will become clear (I hope).
Picture the scene. You’re away on business and you realise you have forgotten to pack your tie. Or you spill your morning coffee down the only one you have brought. John Snow, Tie man of the year 2011, believes that “if a man is going to wear a tie, he should wear a tie”. This man has the official word on ties. Can you really sit in your meeting with inappropriate neckwear with these words ringing through your brain? Never fear. The BEST WESTERNLancashire Manor Hotel offer a free tie exchange so if you’re bored of your tie and want a change or need to borrow one for the day they’ve got your back. Or your neck in this case.
Seeing the range of ties hung up by reception took me back 15 years standing in the supermarket choosing a breakfast snack. I’m not saying ties excite me here or that I couldn’t wait to choose one. (I’m not sure a black dress and a tie is really in Vogue this month). But it was the fact it was just something different, something quirky in a hotel reception that I hadn’t come across before. OK it wasn’t a deep sea diver, but it made the hotel stand out from the crowd with its novel idea for the business hotel guest. They were offering something individual and I loved it.
Health and safety red tape means we probably won’t see any toys back in cereal boxes. But this doesn’t have to mark the end of something that bit different in our adult lives. You go to a hotel and you think you know what you’re going to get. A bed for the night, a key card and a breakfast. But Best Western hotels like to offer all this plus that little extra snap, crackle and pop.
This happens the length and breadth of the country too. Guests staying three nights or more at the BEST WESTERN Hotel St. Pierre in Wakefield for example are treated to a ‘Home from Home’ pack including slippers, chocolate, magazines, water, Horlicks and a wine voucher for the restaurant.
Extra touches like these mean you remember your stay in a Best Western hotel long after you have said ‘cheerio’. What more could you possibly wish for? And don’t say a deep sea diver.