Sunday, July 01, 2007

Using Buzz Cola to Garner Movie Buzz

The post I wrote about select 7-Eleven stores being converted to Kwik-E-Marts is one of the most viewed pages on this blog. The magical conversion took place this weekend. Actually, only a dozen of the 6,000 7-Eleven stores have been made over to look like the fictional convenience stores of "The Simpsons" fame. But the rest will be selling Buzz Cola, KrustyO's cereal and Squishees, the slushy drink knock-off of Slurpees.

If you Google "Buzz Cola," my post is the seventh link that comes back in the results. There are more Simpsons fans out there than I had imagined.

All of this hoopla is part of the July 27 premiere of "The Simpsons Movie." It's a cheap stunt for Fox since 7-Eleven is paying for the whole thing (which is estimated at costing in the "single millions").

So why do this? It seems like a pretty cheap way for 7-Eleven to stand-out in the generic convenience mart category. It gets them some good buzz (pun intended) in the press and may even bring in Simpsons fans looking to buy the limited-edition theme foods. But I don't know if it's really going to attract much more attention from Slurpee/Squishee loyalists.

This is why Fox participated:

"We wanted to make sure the movie stands out as a true cultural event this summer," said Lisa Licht, a marketing vice president at Fox. "It has to stand out from other summer movies and TV shows."

Hmmm.... separating the film from the cluttered summer movie scene, eh? I'll go with it.

7-Eleven stores that have been transformed into a Kwik-E-Mart are located in New York City, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Burbank, Calif., Los Angeles, Henderson, Nev., Orlando, Fla., Mountain View, Calif., Seattle and Bladensburg, Md. (UPDATE -- here are their addresses.)

Have you visited one of these stores? Did you go there because it was a "Kwik-E-Mart" or because it was just plain convenient? Please share your stories and opinions in the comments.

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Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

If there was a store near me, I would definitely go. (I am a Simpsons fan, so maybe I don't represent the masses).

This is a pretty innovative promotion. Just the free buzz/PR is worth this stunt.

Sandi K. Solow said...

Thanks David for your comment. I agree - if there was a store in Atlanta, I'd check it out for the novelty factor. But I am not enough of a Simpsons fan to go to a regular 7-Eleven for some Krusty-O's.

This promotion has gotten the stores a lot of favorable WOM. It was a smart promotion for them.