What is a Kissmobile, you ask?
Just ask Sarah Pratt and Ashley Bonds. The two women, representing Hershey Foods of Pennsylvania, were at downtown Rutlands Wal-Mart last week to show off Hersheys Kissmobile and give away free samples of Hershey Kisses candy.
The unusual Kissmobile is a 25.5 long, 11.5 tall specialty vehicle that resembles a row of three giant Hersheys Kisses chocolatesa classic Hersheys Kisses chocolate, a Hersheys Kisses with Almond chocolate and a Hersheys Hugs chocolate, Pratt said. Of course, the Hershey Kissmobile is here in Rutland to dispense free Hershey kisses in all three varieties.
Pratt explained that there are two Kissmobile vehicles that travel to small towns and large cities across the United States bringing smiles to the faces of kids of all ages and sharing the message that Every kid deserves hugs and kisses especially Hersheys Hugs and Kisses.
Each Kissmobile will travel approximately 50,000 miles in 2007. The crew members will give away Hugs and Kisses, visit local childrens hospitals, and participate in festivals. The tours also will generate increased awareness for the Hersheys Kisses brand and help raise donations for Hersheys long standing charity partner, the Childrens Miracle Network.
Kissmobile One travels the northern and southern routes of the United Stated while Kissmobile Two travels the midwestern and western routes.
The first vehicle was created in 1997 to celebrate Hersheys Kisses 90th anniversary. In February 1999, Hershey introduced the second Kissmobile.
During 1997 and 1998, the original Kissmobile traveled nearly 100,000 miles. The crew handed out more than two million Hersheys Hugs and Kisses and made special appearances at 71 CMN-affiliated childrens hospitals.
The Kissmobile inspired many stories in the national media including articles in Family Circle and Auto Week magazine, segments on CNN Headline News and NBCs Today Show and was mentioned on Public Radio Internationals Whad Ya Know? program last year.
To make the Kissmobile a reality, it took Prototype Source Inc. of Santa Barbara, Calif. six months to design and build the Kissmobile.
The vehicle was completed in May 1997. The giant Hershey's Kisses are made of Fiberglass material. Each Kiss shape is 7.5 feet tall with the Hershey's Kisses Plumes measuring four feet long.
Gearheads will be pleased to know that the Kissmobile is built on 1997 GMC W-4, W-Series truck chassis and was assembled in Janesville, Wis.
This thing weights 13,250 lbs. and is powered by GM's Vortec 5700 V8 gas engine, Pratt said. Our Hershey Kissmobile sports the Pennsylvania plate KISS 2 GO.
The Hershey's Kissmobile includes a 45" Panasonic big screen Television, DVD video deck, a cab CD deck, Pioneer laser disc player, and a built-in Public Address and Closed Caption Television System.
The "Great Kiss Race," an animated contest viewed on a video monitor, is installed in the Kissmobile and those who visit White Marlin Mall can play the game.
Chocolate lovers will be pleased to hear that the Hershey's Kissmobile has the capacity to store 230,000 Hershey's Hugs & Kisses chocolates in a refrigerated compartment, many of which were given out at Wal-Marts downtown Rutland store.
Hershey Foods Corporation is the leading North American manufacturer of quality chocolate, confectionery and chocolate-related grocery products and has a variety of international operations.
The two Kissmobiles are very popular with kids of all ages, said Linda Pappariella, marketing manager, Hershey Foods Corporation. They create huge smiles and memories that will last a lifetime.