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Ciao Bella Kicks off Multi-State Sampling Tour

By Jul 30, 2008

Ciao Bella is hitting the road with a summer sampling tour to give people a taste of its sorbet and gelato flavors.

The campaign, which kicked off in New York, is making a month-long stop in North Carolina, visiting at local events, retailers and children’s charities in Charlotte, Raleigh and Wilmington. A visit at A Child’s Place in Charlotte, NC, a summer camp for homeless children, is also planned.

A brightly colored truck, which mimics an old-fashioned ice cream truck, is being used to build brand awareness. Reps hand out two-ounce samples of some of the company’s most popular flavors, including blood orange sorbet, coconut sorbet, blackberry cabernet sorbet, pistachio gelato, maple ginger snap gelato and vanilla gelato.

“It’s hard to get somebody to try something new when it is behind the freezer door,” Deborah Holt, vice president of marketing for Ciao Bella, said. “So, we’re making a splash with our ice cream to draw attention. We just want to share Ciao Bella with as many consumers as possible.”

Outside retail outlets where the product is sold and space permits, reps will set up tables and chairs near the truck to create a café-like setting with music for guests to relax with their free samples. At local events, visitors can walk up to the window of the truck and request a free sample.

Other stops are planned at charity and consumer events in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Virginia in August and September. The company plans to distribute about 100,000 samples of its gelato and sorbet as part of the tour, which AMP Agency, an Alloy Media + Marketing company, is handling.

AMP Agency conceived the idea to help promote the products across the East Coast, Jon Genese, the firm’s senior vice president, said. Brand ambassadors will also hand out coupons, he added.

The sampling program is one of Ciao Bella’s largest efforts to date, Holt said.

“This is a significant investment for Ciao Bella,” she said. “We’ve never done this level of sampling before. We want to do what we can to continue the buzz about our brand.”

A larger tour is in the works for the spring, Holt said. The campaign is being supported by PR, outreach to bloggers and radio and TV spots in local markets.

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