7-Eleven Slurps at Election Trough, Again

Wednesday, 27 Oct 2010 12:12 PM

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Every election season is 7 come 11 for some candidates, and shooting craps for others. But for 7-Eleven, it’s here we come again, bellying up to the bar for a big gulp of advertising. And sometimes, it’s even free. The national convenience store chain is getting a free plug this season from none other than President Barack Obama. The most recent iteration evolved from Obama’s campaign analogy that Republicans ran the car into the ditch, and the Democrats have extricated the vehicle of state from its dire straits, while Republicans have stood on the sidelines, sipping Slurpees, notes a report in the Los Angeles Times.

Obama, Republicans, Slurpee, car, ditchOf course, the Slurper-in-Chief wasn’t talking about the bumper car he drove with daughter Sasha in tow at the Iowa State Fair, or the Government Motors CEO moniker he got for auto bailouts.

Rather, his point is: Now, the Republicans want to drive, but he’s imploring voters not to give them licenses.

Politics aside, 7-Eleven slurps up the attention. “We are aware that the president mentions” the chain’s signature drink, said company spokeswoman Margaret Chabris. “We thank President Obama very much for the free advertising of our popular drink.”

Chabris insists that Slurpees are bipartisan, and this isn’t the first time the company has lapped at the political trough.

Indeed, 7-Eleven's 2009 gimmick stirred a controversy along with the creamer folks might put into the commemorative coffee cup in honor of Obama’s inauguration. That cup was decorated with a photo of the new prez, the White House, and a group of his supporters. The images prompted a viewer of ABC Channel 7 in Denver to call the station and suggest that it looked like one of the supporters was signaling with a certain finger. Perhaps flipping the bird at election losers? Not so, said 7-Eleven.

In fact, there was Chabris, with the company explanation back then: "It's actually the fourth finger, celebrating being No. 1. It was taken off the official Obama website."

Obama, Slurpee, McCain, 7-ElevenBack in 2008, the Dallas-based 7-Eleven took a proactive role in the presidential election, when it let folks vote with their cups, as its “7-Election” promotion had during the previous two election cycles. The chain put out cups labeled “McCain” and “Obama,” and customers could signal their favorite through their choice of cup for their joe. Those who wanted to vote neither or for a third-party candidate opted for a blank cup.

Chabris urged people to vote like they were part of a machine: “They can vote early, often, late and all the way up to midnight” Election Day.

With the chain's ad prowess, it's a bit surprising it doesn't have a tea (party) cup in the works.

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