7 Eleven Jumps into the Political Advertising Realm

21 10 2008

7 Eleven has joined the political scene with a race of its own: you can now “vote” for Obama or McCain by grabbing a blue or red coffee cup with the name of your candidate on it. When you get your java in the morning, you can now let everyone know which candidate you support. And, 7 Eleven also gets some publicity in the meantime. Pretty good marketing, if you ask me! 7 Eleven has managed to help people cheaply declare which camp they are for while giving them something they would have bought anyway: a cup of coffee.

Results of each day’s “race” at 7 Eleven are uploaded at a Web site created just for the occasion: 7-Election.com. Results are tallied at the register: each cup has a different bar code that is used to count the results. The Web site even has a map of the United States of which you can roll over each state that has 7 Eleven stores (30 of them) to find out who’s winning. Right now: it’s almost all Obama all the time.

7 Eleven claims to have predicted the last two elections, so this faux race might actually give us a good indication of who our next president will be. Check out this blog for nifty charts that show 7 Eleven’s last two presidential election numbers. 7-Election will continue until Election Day on November 4.

Undecided? 7 Eleven still provides unmarked cups as well as a red, white and blue Big Gulp cup.

In a press release announcing the third 7 Eleven poll, 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto stated: “When 7-Eleven held its first 7-Election eight years ago, we had no idea what the final results would be or how popular the cup poll would become. While we don’t bill this as a statistically valid study by any means, it does reach Americans in their hometowns, on their way to work, after school or just going about their everyday lives. 7-Election provides an interesting daily snapshot of the election.”

7 Eleven isn’t the only company who has capitalized on the election. Many bakeries use different color icing on sugar cookies to keep count of votes and simply use a chalkboard behind the counter to display their current “race” numbers.

If coffee or cookies aren’t your thing, California Tortilla is offering a “McCain-Chilada” made with mesquite chicken, Mexican rice, tortilla strips, cheese, salsa and shredded lettuce wrapped in a tortilla. It’s smothered with green enchilada sauce, sour cream and cilantro. Or, you can choose an O-Chili-Bama Burrito that comes with Mexican rice, tortilla strips, salsa and shredded lettuce like McCain’s Chilada, but adds turkey chili and jalapeno peppers. California Tortilla says it’ll tally the votes each week.

And hey, why not get into politics the fun way? I haven’t found any negative feedback about these marketing tactics – everyone can tell the companies are just having fun. It’s not a bad idea to add something like this to your business.

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