November 5, 2010
After his party took a “shellacking” in the mid-term election, a chastened President Obama jokingly offered to host a “Slurpee Summit” with some of his antagonists. Earlier on, Obama had criticized the GOP for sitting back and “drinking Slurpees” while the Dems banged out policy. Humbled, he now resurrected the term to break the ice -so to speak.
Needless to say, 7-11 was ecstatic. With convenience store speed, the ubiquitous retailer seized the moment to create frenzy around their 45-year old brand. They promptly offered to cater Obama’s summit, offering red and blue Slurpees as well as purple ones, which would be the result of mixing the two together. On fire, the marketing department –presumably in conjunction with their ad agency- is launching a campaign emphasizing Slurpees ability to “bring people together.”
There’s no telling how fast and far 7-11 can go with this scheme. Clearly, the concept of a Slurpee Summit has legs, especially with regard to social media. Who wouldn’t “join,” “like” or be a “fan” of a Slurpee Summit? In terms of mass media, USA Today reported that 7-11 is taking out newspaper ads trumpeting the possibility of a summit. Probably in USA Today!
And to all of this buffoonery I say: why not? Of course it’s silly. And I suppose it makes light of the President. But hey, he started it. And whether we drink them or not, who in America doesn’t have a soft spot for this soft served delight? Slurpees are like the 4th of July and firecrackers. Brain freeze is a right of passage. Slurpees are awesome.
In my opinion, these are the things that make our industry a hoot. I can just imagine the light bulb going off over the copywriter’s head (or whomever) when he heard Obama’s crack. And then: “Wouldn’t it be great if…” Those words define what being a creative person is all about. Ah-ha moments, even silly ones like the Slurpee Summit, can happen to anyone at any time. We should embrace them.
Besides, wouldn’t it be something if Obama and his nemesis really did come together over Slurpees? Fallout from the election suggests there’s a lot of anger in our country. The political ads were downright nasty. This is the opposite of that. Good clean fun during challenging times. Make mine a Cherry Coke.