Girl Scout Cookies Go Digital? Social?

by Marianne Richmond on January 30, 2007

An update from Ypulse today brought the news that you could find Girl Scout Cookies on line. Excellent, I thought; the Girl Scouts go digital. However, I found something a little less… not exactly the ability to order cookies on line.ÂÂ

When I visited the site I found a delicious looking photo and a request for my zipcode; this sends you to your local council cookie site. In my case, the council is Girl Scout Council of Greater St. Louis but the cookie part took me to what appeared to be an internal page of information for those selling cookies.

 I went to the council homepage and found a phone number, 1.800.727.4475, to call for more information about cookie sales. So, not exactly Web2.0 or even 1.0…a phone number for those on-line folks craving GS Cookies who didn’t have any off-line friends to ask and/or who didn’t know there was an organization with a phone number to call.

The official press release touted, "Girl Scout Cookies Venture Into Cyberspace; 90 Year Tradition Meets New Media." and, " This mini-Web site from Girl Scouts of the USA offers consumers point-of-sale information that makes finding Girl Scout cookies fast, fun and interactive." Well, if a phone number and the fact that a box of cookies costs $3.00 is point of sale information, who am I to say, "huh?" And then thinking maybe this was just the St. Louis Council, I entered our former Florida zipcode, but found pretty much the same thing.

Around here, if you happen to work at home and miss the action at the office, or happen to not be at home when they knock at your door, or miss the phone call from your friend’s daughter who is the troop cookie chairperson, then you can succumb to the little tables they set up in front of the grocery store in the spot that the Salvation Army occupies in December. In other words, I personally have never felt the necessity to call for information. Online ordering, on the other hand might be a winner at our house.

But, because the Girl Scout’s now had my attention I wondered who the Girl Scouts, one of the original offline social networks, were in an online social networked world. They must have been wondering also.

 For one thing, the press release also announced their MySpace page. Also, they have four vintage TV commercials that are up at YouTube and been added to Google, Yahoo, Grouper, Sharkle, Break, Friendster, AOL Uncut, Uber and Soapbox.

The press release said the purpose of the cookie site was to be a one stop online destination. I think they need to take that a bit further.

 It said the MySpace page was initiated to raise interest in Girl Scouts by interacting with a new group of potential Girl Scout supporters, teens and adults who spend time on online social networks. Are the Girl Scouts re-launching? Yes, it seems they are in the middle of a re-launchbeginning in 2004 and due for completion in 2008.

Are the teens and adults on MySpace interested in vintage cookie commercials and "building courage, confidence, and character?"

Well, it also seems that the Girl Scouts do a lot of research and aggregate a lot of research. In fact they have a Research Institute. So, we can probably assume that they have some basis for the MySpace site and the YouTube videos. But then again, Wal-Mart must have had some basis for the ill fated Wal-Mart Hub, right? Well sometimes research is only as good as the questions you ask and the perspective of those reading the results.

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