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Pink Malley's 'Slug Bugs' Spotted in Lakewood

Advertising campaign by the Lakewood chocolatier pays drivers $150 per month to drive Malley’s Volkswagen Beetles.

You’ve probably seen the pink Volkswagen Beetles zipping around town during the past few weeks. 

You know, the ones with Malley’s Chocolates’ regional chocolatier trademark “CHOC” emblazoned on the front hood — a la Indy 500 race car. 

The pink Slug Bugs are part of the Lakewood-based chocolatier’s new ad campaign that pays drivers $150 per month for three years to drive the cars. 

It’s a match as a perfect as peanut butter and chocolate.

The cars, retailing for about $21,000, have a thin plastic wrap with lots of Malley’s advertising. With a partnership with Ganley Westside Imports, drivers had the option to lease or buy.

Immediately, 25 people signed on.

The initiative was so successful that Dan Malley, the company’s vice president and marketing whiz, extended the offer to five more drivers. 

He called the campaign “hugely successful.”

“We’re taken aback at how much our brand means to so many people,” said Malley. “That’s been very nice." 

Of the 30 drivers, three of them are in Lakewood.

“We’re not accepting anymore cars,” Malley said, who inspects the cars to make sure they're clean. “Thirty is our limit.”

Lakewood resident Maria Polk, proud owner of car No. 18, picked up her wheels in August.

“I drive a lot for my job,” said Polk, who works for a home health care agency. “When I drove the Beetle it felt comfortable. I bought it later that afternoon.”

She carries around a bag of chocolates, just in case someone asks.

“First, people look,” Polk said. “Then they wave. Sometimes they ask me for a piece of candy.”

She said she’s not sure yet if she’ll keep the ads on the car once the 36 months is up.

“I like Malley’s — I’ve eaten a lot of hot fudge sundaes  — but I am more in it for the car.”

Greg Wereb October 17, 2012 at 03:25 AM
There's a place called TravelinGraphics.com that does the same thing, but you don't have to buy the car, you use your own.

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