EAST HANOVER, N.J. -- Nabisco Biscuit Co. here wrapped up the first phase of its Cool School Bus promotion, calling it "extremely successful."
The back-to-school promotion included placing large, colorful cardboard school buses in 17,000 major retailers across the country, stocked with Nabisco favorites.
SN visited Wegmans Food Markets' prototype store in Pittsford, N.Y., at the end of the summer, where the school bus was parked in the bulk candy department. The Cool School Bus had on board 12-packs of treats in snack sizes, including Ritz Bits, Oreos, Chips Ahoy!, Nutter Butters, Fig Newtons, Cheese Nips and Animal Crackers.
The promotion also includes a sweepstakes. Nabisco expanded the contest in 1998, the second year the promotion was run, from 17 to all 50 states, according to Kevin Hennessy, spokesman for the company. A winner in each state will receive Nabisco products and toys made by Tiger Electronics.
Another change this year was that an age limit was imposed, so that the promotion is targeted more toward youngsters. Contest entrants must be between ages 5 and 16.
Next spring, for the next phase of the contest, a fleet of what the company calls "creatively crafted school buses" will deliver the booty.
Kids can enter the contest until Oct. 31, even though the point-of-sale material is gone from supermarket floors. Instructions are currently on packs of Honey Maid graham crackers, varieties of Chips Ahoy! and Oreo cookies, Nutter Butter cookies, Ritz Bits Sandwiches cheese and peanut butter crackers and several Toastettes varieties.
The Cool School Bus makes two stops in each winner's hometown. The first will be at the winner's school, delivering Nabisco cookies and crackers and a selection of Tiger Electronics toys for the whole school to enjoy. Tiger Electronics, Vernon Hills, Ill., a division of Hasbro, is the maker of Giga Pets Virtual Pets, as well as other product lines.
The second stop will be at the winner's home, where the bus will deliver more Nabisco cookies and crackers and Tiger toys.
Nabisco also supported the 1998 Cool School Bus promotion with television advertising during children's programming and a print campaign in children's publications.