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Altoids Launch Rips Valentine’s Day

By Feb 14, 2007

Screw Valentine’s Day. Let’s eat dark chocolate Altoids.

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. plays the anti-Cupid with storefront sampling of new Altoids Dark Chocolate Dipped Mints.

Pop-up shops in New York, Chicago and Miami offer free mints and a tongue-in-cheek take on Valentine’s Day. The sampling push is part of a launch that includes print and online ads under the theme “Say It with Altoids.”

“With so many chocolate brands seeking to be the ultimate symbol of love this Valentine’s Day, Altoids is taking a different path by embracing the bruised, blackened and broken-hearted with a message that communicates what many people think yet are too polite to say,” said Paul Chibe, Wrigley’s vice president of u.s. marketing, in a statement.

The sampling shops, called Altoids Curious & Original Chocolate Shoppes, opened Feb. 8 and stay open through today. Visitors get mints and a cup of coffee. A display of postcards showcase Altoids’ take on Valentines, with messages like: “Another day closer ’til death does us apart.”

Fashion maven Dita Von Teese hosted opening night in New York. Periodic events via Hunter PR will help drive shop traffic. Tonight: “Love Lost Readings,” literary pieces will be read by three comedians. Yesterday the shop hosted “DIY Valentine’s Day” crafts.

The shops have averaged 2,000 visitors a day, Wrigley said. Gigunda Group, Manchester, NH, handles the shops. The agency also is distributing 1 million samples to pedestrians in New York, Chicago, Miami and San Francisco. Wrigley is considering other ways to creatively sample the mints later this year.

A dedicated Web site, SayItWithAltoids.com, lets lonely hearts send anti-Valentine’s Day e-cards (“It’s you. Not me.”) and submit a tagline for an Altoids ad.

Print and outdoor ads bring back the iconic Altoids Muscle Man, this time covered in chocolate. Other ads will break throughout the month. Leo Burnett, Chicago, handles advertising.

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