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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, April 19, 2001

Dot-com seeks fortune in cookie ads

Associated Press

NEW YORK — What would Confucius say?

Half.com is advertising on the back of fortunes inside millions of cookies sold to restaurants nationwide.

Associated Press

Just when it seems there's no surface left that advertisers haven't commandeered, an Internet firm has baked up a new recipe for self-promotion: tiny ads tucked inside fortune cookies.

The ads, for Web site Half.com, began showing up in early April on slips of paper folded into millions of cookies doled out to diners at Chinese restaurants nationwide.

The cookies, made by Wonton Food Inc. of New York, still tender the tidbits of wisdom Americans have long savored with their General Tso's Chicken and fried rice.

But while the front of that slip of paper may tell you happiness and a long life are yours, the back offers $5 off your next purchase at the Web site.

"We really want to connect with people and evoke an emotional response," said Mark Hughes, vice president of marketing for Half.com.

Wonton Food is baking the ads, reading "save a Fortune at Half.com," into 17 to 20 million of the 60 million Golden Bowl brand fortune cookies it makes each month at its plant in Queens, N.Y.