‘Simpsons,’ 7-Eleven Juggernaut Rolls On

NEW YORK 7-Eleven took quite a gamble converting a number of its stores to the fictional Kwik-E-Marts found in fictional Springfield, USA, but the bet is apparently paying off.

Simpsons-related products—Buzz Cola, KrustyO’s Cereal, Squishee drinks, the Official Pink Movie Donut, collectible cups and magnetic straws, and the Radioactive Man Limited Edition (#711) Comic Book—are “flying off shelves,” and 7-Elevens are experiencing a spike in comparable-store sales and net sales. That’s what Bobbi Merkel, executive director, strategic initiatives, Fresh Works, the agency that collaborated with 7-Eleven and Twentieth Century Fox to bring The Simpsons promotion to life in 7-Eleven stores, told Brandweek. Specific numbers will be available at month’s end.

The Dallas-based convenience store chain is rolling out yet another promotion tied to The Simpsons in the New York metro area. During the weeks of July 16 and 23, 7-Eleven will insert The Simpsons “Scratch N’ Win” games in The New York Post. The inserts will be placed in the papers at the beginning of the week and consumers can scratch a different game each day. Giveaways include a trip to Los Angeles as well as The Simpsons‘ limited edition yellow Xbox containing content from The Simpsons TV series.

“The Northeast has a heavy fan base,” said Merkel. “The entire country loves the program, but the Northeast was one of the leading areas to embrace the program. They really jumped at the opportunity.”

Rita Bargerhuff, senior marketing director, 7-Eleven Inc., added that the chain is launching a new iced coffee this month, so the Scratch N’ Win promotion is a great way to build momentum and gain exposure for both The Simpsons Movie and the new coffee product. The New York Post and Fox, which is distributing The Simpsons Movie, are both owned by media magnate Rupert Murdoch.

The Simpsons promotion at 7-Eleven is the most comprehensive movie-related program the chain has ever conducted. On July 1, 11 U.S. 7-Eleven stores and one unit in British Columbia converted to Kwik-E-Marts, the convenience store frequented by the characters in the series.

For the month-long program, which leads up to the July 27 release of The Simpsons Movie, store fronts were changed to read “Kwik-E-Mart” and signs in the parking lots (in suburban areas) read “5 Minute Parking. Violators Will Be Executed.” Inside the stores, lighted 7-Eleven signs above the door became Kwik-E-Mart signage, ATMs were made over to read, “First Bank of Springfield ATM,” and the aforementioned merchandise from the TV series is being sold in all of the 6,000-plus 7-Eleven stores in the U.S. and Canada.