7-Eleven pounces on 'Slurpee Summit'

The company is trying its hardest to turn Slurpees into a beverage of national unity.

By Kim Peterson Nov 4, 2010 3:22PM
Two Slurpees. © TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty ImagesIt was a joke -- a rather lame one, in fact -- by a reporter that started the notion of a "Slurpee summit." But 7-Eleven is taking the cup and running with it.

The company is hoping to get big mileage out of the so-called "Slurpee summit," also known as the proposed meeting between President Obama and leaders from both parties. 7-Eleven wants the Slurpee summit to be as big as the "beer summit" of last July.

"This is a rare opportunity for a brand," a 7-Eleven spokeswoman told USA Today. "We don't want to be opportunistic, but nothing has ever been this big for Slurpee."

Obama has hammered Republicans for sipping on Slurpees while the Democrats worked to get the car out of the ditch, reports Sunlen Miller at ABC News. But after the shellacking the Democrats took in this week's elections, Obama said he wants to meet with both parties to discuss ways to compromise.

That's when one reporter joked about having a Slurpee summit. Obama laughed, Miller reports, and said that Slurpees are delicious drinks. That summit has since turned into a Nov. 18 dinner at the White House, and Obama's spokesman now says he may consider serving Slurpees for dessert. Post continues after video:
That's enough for 7-Eleven, which was on the phone with the White House within hours, USA Today reports. The company suggested officially adding the Slurpee brand to the summit, and serving red and blue Slurpees. Maybe even purple, too, because that's what happens when you mix red and blue together.

And look for a big 7-Eleven advertisement in national newspapers Friday. The company is touting Slurpees as a drink that can bring people together, USA Today reports. "One concept in discussion is a picture of a purple Slurpee with a red straw and a blue straw sticking out," writes Bruce Horovitz.

7-Eleven is trying awfully hard here. Is this how a meme starts? What it comes down to for the company is hugely positive advertising and marketing potential. "If they actually have a summit, it's worth tens of millions of dollars in free advertising," one consultant told USA Today.

It helps that Slurpees are hugely profitable for 7-Eleven stores. And the fall and winter months aren't normally big for Slurpee sales. So if a Slurpee summit does take hold in the American imagination, 7-Eleven could certainly see a nice boost.

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