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July 13, 2021

Wyman's taking its Maine wild blueberry message on the road

Courtesy / Wyman's Wyman's brand ambassadors and Bee Wild Mobile drivers Erin Sastre (left) and Amanda Boyd will be visiting events across the state through Sept. 12.

Wyman's, the Milbridge-based producer of Maine wild blueberry products, is traveling the state this summer with its Bee Wild Mobile — a mobile marketing vehicle along the lines of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile or Planters NUTmobile.

The vehicle will be at events across the state Maine through Sept. 12, bringing information, prizes and Wyman's Just Fruit cups to the people.

"We're looking forward to sharing our passion for fruit with residents and visitors throughout state this summer," Tony Shurman, Wyman's president and CEO, said.

A branded vehicle that meets potential customers where they are has been found to be an effective marketing tool, and the two brand ambassadors manning the Bee Wild Mobile have extensive experience at it, Wyman's said in a news release.

Colleen Craig, Wyman's brand manager, said the so-called experiential marketing offered through the Bee Wild Mobile is "a powerful vehicle to reach new audiences."

The truck is manned by brand ambassadors Amanda Boyd and Erin Sastre, who both have have driven iconic experiential marketing vehicles for national brands, including the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and Planters NUTmobile, and have completed recognized training programs for commercial vehicles of that kind.

Craig said that, given Boyd and Sastre's experience, "We’re very fortunate to have them join forces to promote the benefits and exceptional taste of wild blueberries for Wyman’s."

Boyd said programs like the Bee Wild Mobile connect people to a product "on a much deeper level than an ordinary advertisement."

Connecting people to the product

The effort comes as the climate change increasingly threatens wild blueberries, which add an estimated $250 million a year to the state's economy. The fruit is only grown in Downeast Maine and Canada's Maritime provinces, and is smaller than the high bush blueberries grown in other areas

Established in 1874, Wyman's is a fourth-generation family owned company, the oldest of Maine’s six major wild-blueberry processors and one of the leading wild blueberry growers, processors and marketers worldwide. Wyman's processes, freezes and cans wild blueberries from thousands of acres of their own land in Washington County as well as in partnership with local growers around the state.

Wyman’s can freeze 2 million pounds of wild blueberries a day during the harvest season, typically late July to early August. the company's fruit goes into a wide array of products and is used in recipes at restaurants and bakeries. That said, the company wants people in its native state, both visitors and residents, to have a better idea of who they are.

Through Sept. 12, the Bee Wild Mobile will appear at festivals and other events across the state, including a Portland Sea Dogs game, fairs, the Thompson Point Sunset Series, L.L.Bean outdoor events and the state's Bicentennial Parade in Lewiston on Aug. 21. It will also be in Wiscassett and Hope on Maine Wild Blueberry Weekend Aug. 7-8.

The two Bee Mobile ambassadors bring more than just driving skills and blueberry knowledge to the job.

Boyd, of Franklin, Mass., graduated from S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University with a bachelor of science in advertising. Her advertising and brand experience includes being an Oscar Mayer "Hotdogger," driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and serving as a brand ambassador for the company. She is a graduate of Oscar Mayer's Hot Dog High Program, which trains brand ambassadors on critical skills, including event management and driving laws. She has driven the Wienermobile across 20 states.

Sastre, of Saint Charles, Ill., graduated from the University of Missouri, with a bachelor of arts in journalism with a concentration on strategic communications. She has been a brand ambassador for Planters, and graduated from Peanut Prep, a two-week training program that involves driving tests and media training. She has driven the Planters NUTmobile in 22 states.

"If this past year has taught me anything, it’s that people really appreciate and crave interaction," Sastre said. "Driving the NUTmobile during the pandemic, I saw firsthand how something as small as passing us on the highway made people smile."

It's not the first time such a mobile marketing campaign has traveled Maine. L.L.Bean Inc.'s 13-foot-high Bootmobile is familiar to Mainers, and Falmouth marketing firm TideSmart develops experiential campaigns for clients nationwide.   

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