We were told that the school would get money for each soup label that we gave them. But I didn't understand how. What value is there in a soup label? How are they exchanging these labels for money?
It's only now that I realise what was going on. It was a promotional gimmick by the Campbell corporation to get kids to nag their parents to buy Campbell soup.
I read that this scheme finally ended a couple of years ago, 42 years after it began. Campbells distributed $110 million to the schools.
That seems like a remarkably low number. $110 million over 40 years? This was a huge marketing campaign. I'd bet every school in the country was doing this at some point.
Could it possibly have been worth the effort? Our school was HUGE into it. The teachers were constantly nagging us to bring these soup labels in. And there were the school announcements about it and the charts in the library and all of this shit. I think the class who brought in the most labels won some kind of lame ass prize. A "party" or something.
And we, as students, got nothing out of it. The school might have got a few pennies from these labels but we got nothing. We were the ones buying this shit (are parents, anyway) and we get nothing for it.
Why didn't any of the parents say, "I'm not doing this shit. I pay tuition. Why should I also give you soup labels to participate in some sleazy marketing program to indoctrinate kids into consumerism and unhealthy eating?"
As far as I'm aware, not a single parent complained.
I just found an article that says a school got between $1500 and $2000/year from this program. There's no way that it's worth it. I mean, forget about all of the manhours wasted by the parents, it's a waste of time for the schools. There are administration costs in having to collect and send all of this shit. Were they counting each label or just weighing them at the end? I'd imagine it was weight because Campbell wasn't going to take the time to count every label.
Anyway, it's bizarre. It's a bizarre fundraiser. But that's what school seemed to be all about. Fundraising. At least in the fee-paying schools. I didn't see this in the government run schools. But if you're paying tuition every year, get ready for loads of bullshit, mandatory fundraising.
Who wants chocolate bars? Who wants calendars? Who wants wrapping paper? The reality is that nobody wants this shit so the parents just buy it. It's a stealth added tuition.
But nobody complained. I can tell you that if I was paying tuition and my son came home with some shitty calendars that his teachers told him he had to sell, I'd be at the school the next day talking to the principal. "What am I paying tuition for? My son isn't a door to door salesman. If you're hiring him as a door to door salesman, pay him. We don't want these shitty calendars. Take them back."
Either everybody was a pussy back then or I'm just harder than most.
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