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    Milky Way Gives Away 285,000 Samples

    Coupons, raffles round out promotion.

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

    A 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, representatives distributed 98,000 coupons and held hourly raffles for T-shirt giveaways, the magazine reported. Visitors also posed for pictures against a green screen that were dropped into a fantasy photo print of the Milky Way Wagon and Trailer. Pictures also could be taken next to a life-size cutout of NASCAR racing star Kyle Busch. 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.

    The goal of the promotion 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 of Stage Active Brand Marketing, the agency that handled the program with sister agency Catapult Action-Biased Marketing told the magazine.

    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.

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