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News
Fries with your Teletubby?
May 21, 1999: 9:12 p.m. ET

Fast food titans battle for bucks with Beanie Babies, R2D2 and Tarzan
From CNNfn Correspondent Ceci Rodgers
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - For a third year, McDonald's is touching off a frenzy with its Teenie Beanie Babies.
     But unlike past years, the burger giant's competitors aren't sitting idle. In fact, it's an all-out war, pitting fast food titans against one another for market share and dollars.
     You can get 28 different Star Wars toys at Tricon Global Restaurant's Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut chains. Or go to Burger King if Teletubbies are what you're after.
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The chains are saturating the airwaves with advertisements in the hopes children will beg their parents for a trip to the restaurant.
     "You get the customer, the primary customer, which is the child, in the door, and then the adult will also typically buy something else, adding to revenues and profits," said Everen Securities analyst Dean Haskell.
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And that's key, especially in the United States, where the fast food market is crowded.
     It costs McDonald's and the others a dollar or less for each toy. So if the promotion flops, the loss is minimal. But the potential rewards are large.
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A really hot campaign can boost sales by 10 percent or more. At McDonald's, each Teenie Beenie promotion has been a record-breaker.
     "Customers have been waiting up all year for this event to arrive," said McDonald's Vice President R. J. Milano.
     Burger King's Teletubbies are on track to be that chain's most successful promotion ever.
     "They've seen dramatic increases in sales, not only in kids meals, but in our restaurant sales as well," said Burger King Vice President Richard Taylor.
     And what follows these blockbusters? More promotions. McDonald's plans a big June tie-in with Disney's animated feature "Tarzan." Back to top

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  RELATED SITES

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