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DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. is making some big moves this summer to bring its Slurpee beverages to more customers, through a new business partnership, a movie promotion and a good-deeds reward initiative, the company reported.
The convenience store chain is partnering with Cinamark USA Inc. to make Slurpees available at 32 Cinemark theaters in Portland, Dallas and Houston, which does not have any 7-Eleven stores. Starting this week, the participating theaters will offer three Slurpee flavors, provided by Coca-Cola, in crew-served and self-serve settings. Aside from a test at a Dallas sports arena, this is the first time Slurpees have been sold outside of 7-Eleven stores.
"Our research and past promotional successes show that movie fans love Slurpees, and Slurpee fans love movies," said Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, 7-Eleven senior vice president of merchandising, logistics and marketing. "Our partnership with Cinemark gives us the opportunity to reach even more Slurpee fans by bringing the drink to them. The only thing better than watching the latest hit movie -- especially for Slurpee-lovers -- is watching it while sipping on a Slurpee drink."
He believes the partnership will also attract new customers to visit 7-Eleven stores.
"At Cinemark, our main focus is to create the best movie-going environment possible for our customers," said Bob Shimmin, Cinemark's vice president of food and beverage. "We believe that offering the finest food and beverage options actually enhances the entertainment experience. By teaming up with 7-Eleven on this initiative, our customers can enjoy ice-cold Slurpee drinks while watching the hottest blockbuster movies in select Cinemark theatres this summer."
Cinemark customers will get Slurpee Rewards program points when they purchase the beverage at the theaters. Points can be redeemed for special rewards that include Cinemark movie passes.
Meanwhile, a new "Wrist Blaster" cup filled with an Alienade Slurpee beverage is the latest product innovation from 7-Eleven's movie marketing machine. The Dallas-based convenience store chain announced a partnership with the soon-to-be-released movie, "Cowboys & Aliens," to launch this new movie-based product this month.
Modeled after the mysterious, glowing shackle that encircles the hero's wrist in the Universal Pictures' and DreamWorks Pictures' film, which opens July 29, the Wrist Blaster cup emanates a cool-blue backlight with the flip of a switch. Retailing for $6.99, purchase of the collectible cup includes the first Slurpee fill-up.
Blockbuster filmmaker Jon Favreau ("Iron Man") directs Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in this film that crosses the classic Western with the alien-invasion movie in an original way.
"Like Slurpee drinks, 'Cowboys & Aliens' appeals to all age groups," said Jenkins. "Not only does the movie cross genres, it crosses generations of 7-Eleven customers -- fans who remember the classic Westerns and younger generations who have made action-thrillers one of today's most popular genres."
Besides the glowing Wrist Blaster cup, 7-Eleven will offer six premium "Cowboys & Aliens" cups -- three 3-D Slurpee and three glossy, foil Super Big Gulp cups. Both feature the movie's main characters -- the hero, Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig), the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) and the mysterious traveler Ella (Olivia Wilde).
A special gold-colored dome lid was created for the premium Slurpee cups. The featured Alienade flavor is blue in color and is a refreshing blend of strawberry, blue raspberry and lemonade flavors.
The 7-Eleven July promotion is supported by radio advertising in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va., as well as billboards in Richmond, Va., Salt Lake City, Utah, Tampa, Fla., and San Diego, Calif. The promotional campaign also will be supported online and through social media.
Assisting 7-Eleven in developing the promotion for the "Cowboys & Aliens" release is FreshWorks, 7-Eleven, Inc.'s advertising and marketing agency, which is a consortium of Omnicom companies.
In a totally separate initiative involving 7-Eleven's signature frozen beverge, the local police in Dallas are giving away one million coupons for a free Slurpee to kids. The coupon giveaway is meant to help local police develop a good relationship with young people in the community.
Because policemen in their uniforms can be a bit intimidating to children and many teens, the community program is aimed at helping soften the police's image for these young people. Called Operation Chill, the program provides police with free Slurpee coupons to give to kids they catch doing good or exhibiting "good behavior."
Among the deeds that merit a free coupon are extending help to another person, wearing a helmet while skateboarding or biking, actively participating in athletic leagues sponsored by the local police, and helping to stop any crime from happening.
7-Eleven has been continuously supporting Operation Chill in most of its stores since the program started in 1975.