7-11's marketing brilliance - choose your cup - choose your candidate

So a co-worker of mine comes in today with a blue coffee cup from 7-11 that says Obama. I ask her if it says McCain on the other side. The other side said Obama too!

She said if you get coffee at 7-11 you can choose a blue Obama cup or a red McCain cup, and they are keeping a talley of how many cups are sold.

By the way, she said Obama was winning at the local 7-11 here in downtown Mechanicsville, VA.

So, I usually get my morning joe at Sheetz, but today will go a bit out of my way to visit 7-11 to cast my vote.

I hope that marketing guy gets a raise! Well done.

The two 7-11’s I frequent, one near home and one near work, are always out of the Obama cups. I asked if it was because they were trying to influence the vote but it turns out the Obama cups sell out almost as soon as they are stocked.

Ooo, I’ll be Stateside in just a week – first stop, 7-11! An Obama cup of coffee and a giant Slurpee are all I need to make my month complete!

Back in 88, I worked in a theater (bet y’all are tired of me saying that) and one of the gimmicks was a “straw poll”. You picked your straw as you got your drink, and one kind was for Dems and one for Repubs. I don’t think we had a “neutral or other” straw. I also don’t know if GCC still does this, but apparently it was a tradition in that chain.

This practice goes back quite a ways. One theater chain had a so-called “Popcorn Poll”, 7-11 had their drink cups, etc. I believe at least one Ph. D. dissertation has been written upon the accuracy of these “polls” vs. the commercial polling services.

This was the first thing I thought of when I started reading this thread. I recall this happening in 1984.

…is GCC still around? AMC seems to have taken over old General Cinema sites here in Indianapolis, but I don’t know if they’re actually connected.

There’s a car wash here in town doing the same thing. Choose your lane and your candidate.


That’s obviously not real indicative since most people would just choose whichever is shorter. Still, it’ll be fun to see how accurate they are.

I’d only get a McCain cup if I could get a latte, because I’d want that white head to match McCain’s white hair.

This November 4th, I’m taking my coffee black.

FYI, 7-11 tracks the polling for all their stores: 7-Election 2008.

Texas? Arizona? Even the most optimistic polls aren’t swinging as wildly Obama-wards as the 7-11 poll. Color me somewhat dubious.

Just think of the demographic that gets coffee from 7-11.

That demographic is what? Those rascally negroes?


Do these sort of places provide a neutral option? I for one don’t think sloganeering is particularly elevating to our national discourse, at least to the extent that I’m not willing to subsidize it.

How many 7-11’s are there in rural areas?

7-Eleven provides you with a white “undecided/independent” cup if you don’t want either. However, they don’t seem very popular–my local 7-11 had them stacked thirty high while Obama cups were out and only five McCain cups remained.

Obama leading in Utah 60-40?

snerk We could only dream…

I’ve heard a variation of this that is even better marketing - a business puts out tip cups labelled with both candidates. You get to vote with your change, and they keep it.

They do, but they are less prominently displayed. I recently bought coffee there, and I was horrified when it first looked like the red and blue were my only options. I have no intention of letting other people know whether and which way I have decided.

Also, from the results website, there are no 7-11 stores in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

More than a few red states in there. I still think it’s a neat idea, though.

Note that the 7-11 poll has Obama winning California and Texas by similar margins. It’s fun, but I wouldn’t read anything into it.