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Milky Way Distributes 285,000 Samples on ‘Road Trip’ Tour

By Aug 06, 2008

Mars Snackfood U.S. recently wrapped up a two-month tour where it handed out 285,000 Milky Way bars in an effort to boost sales of the chocolate candy.

A decked out 1970s-era station wagon, dubbed the Milky Way Wagon, traveled 6,500 miles across the country from mid-May to late July stopping at fairs, festivals and NASCAR events in Wisconsin, Colorado, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois.

In addition to the samples, brand ambassadors distributed 98,000 coupons and held hourly raffles for T-shirt giveaways, handing out 2,100 in all. No details were available yet on coupon redemption rates.

Visitors also posed for pictures against a green screen that were then dropped into a fantasy photo print of the Milky Way Wagon and Trailer printed on-site. Pictures could also be taken next to a life-size cardboard cutout photo of NASCAR racing star Kyle Busch. In all, more than 9,600 pictures were taken.

A “country karaoke” show let people show off their talents on-stage, complete with a Milky Way stage backdrop, microphone, speakers and an LCD screen, which displayed lyrics. The event helped promote Milky Way’s 85th anniversary this year.

The goal behind the program was to drive product trial and purchase among the brand’s target demographic, and to broaden awareness of and deepen loyalty to the brand, Bob Petrosino, president and chief stage hand at Stage Active Brand Marketing, the agency that handled the program with sister agency Catapult Action-Biased Marketing, said.

Milky Way was created in 1923 by Frank Mars and originally sold for a nickel a bar. The candy was designed to replicate the taste of malted milk shakes, the rage of the roaring ’20s. Three flavors are available: original, milk chocolate covered caramels and the Midnight Bar.

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