Monday, March 30, 2009

Will This Summer Promo Go Viral?

Here’s one with a new wrinkle (pun intended!)!

7-11’s Slurpee frozen drinks are a staple of summer. It also appears that 7-11 has a long history of seasonal promos for the product. That puts them in a strong position to develop an engaging promo for the summer that’s coming—someday soon I hope, even though it certainly doesn’t feel like it in New England!

This is another one you need to experience for yourself. It won’t take long but you may want to consider their urging to have your volume up high, especially if others nearby are easily annoyed. What you need to do is to go to the Brain Freeze Laboratory and let the intro play. The final screen invites you to Try It!

When you do, you get the Brain Freeze screen. I chose Blue Raspberry as my flavor (first image) and used their avatar—no way I was going to upload my own pic for this!! You get a cutsey little message after each “experiment,” I didn’t manage to capture that. It’s quite interactive, although it doesn’t go anywhere. 7-11 hopes, of course, that you’ll have so much fun you’ll send it on to a friend. The campaign is too new to know whether it will become seriously viral, but it’s the kind of promo that has potential, which is more than you say for a lot of them!

When I think about the great summer season promotions, I often to back to Snapple. They had a more urban, more upscale market, and they could reach a fair number by pulling a Snapple truck up to the Boston Common and giving away free product. That’s compelling, but it 's low reach.

Slurpee machines are in all 7-11 outlets (at least all the ones I’ve ever seen), so this is a much broader, somewhat more downscale market. Is it also younger? Maybe. And for the last few years they have had a Free Slurpee Day, so that’s a possible tie-in for this year also. They’ve put the Brain Freeze Laboratory up in plenty of time to build up to a major event as part of the program.

If you’ll look at the home page of the microsite, you’ll see that they have other things going on. They have a Facebook page (of course!), a MySpace page (which may say something about their target audience), a game, a Slurpee Shoppee (how precious!) in 7-11s.

It’s a well-integrated promotion that looks like it has plenty of legs to carry it through the summer season. If they are lucky (and I still think luck and timing pay a huge part), it will go viral.

They’ve got the necessary tools in place for a successful, maybe viral campaign. Why don’t you give it a try and see what you think—or what you can learn!

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