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Mentos Hits the Road to Distribute Millions of Samples

By Mar 09, 2007

Mentos is popping the top on an eight-month tour for the chewy mints.

The Absurdly Fresh tour will hit 56 markets this year to distribute millions of Mentos samples. The tour uses a fleet of Saturn Sky convertible sports cars that have been wrapped in 3-D graphics that mimic Mentos’ packaging. Tour teams will take the cars to fairs, festivals, lifestyle and sporting events, as well as key retailers’ stores.

Brand reps will hand out Mentos samples, host games, give away “Get Fresh with Me” T-shirts and, yes, demonstrate Mentos Geysers, the explosion that happens when a Mentos mint is dropped into a two-liter bottle of pop.

Teams also will take photos of visitors to post on a dedicated microsite, MentosMomentum.com. Quirky radio spots, read by local DJs, drive awareness for tour stops in each market.

The tour runs through October, with a big kick-off launch this weekend at South by Southwest music festival in Austin, TX. (The tour began with two events in Houston last month.) Event agency Innova Marketing, Minneapolis, handles the tour for Perfetti Van Melle USA, which markets Mentos.

“Wrapping a fleet of sports cars with cool new 3-D graphics is just the kind of thing Mentos fans would expect from the ‘absurdly fresh’ chewy mint,” said Pete Healy, vice president of marketing at Perfetti Van Melle USA, in a statement.

The brand lucked into huge visibility last year, when online videos of “Mentos Geysers” hit the pop-culture mainstream. Mentos rode the wave with an online contest inviting entrants to submit videos of their own geyser (PROMO Xtra, Aug. 3, 2006). Launch Creative Marketing, Chicago, handled that campaign.

The Absurdly Fresh tour is “the perfect way for consumers to connect with the brand after the geyser phenomenon,” said Innova senior account manager Ryan Flom in a statement.

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