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    7-Eleven, PRConsultants Group Win Silver Anvil

    "The Simpsons," America's favorite animated family, provides platform for industry reward.

    DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. and PRConsultants Group Inc. received a Silver Anvil Award recently from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for their joint promotion of last year's box office hit, "The Simpsons."

    "The Silver Anvil Award is considered to be the Oscar of the public relations industry, and it is a tremendous honor to be recognized in this way," 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris told CSNews Online. "The campaign was the biggest one-month product promotion in our company's history. It was a success because of the creativity of and attention to detail by our marketing and advertising agency FreshWorks, the PRConsultants Group and the hard work of our franchisees, store managers and employees."

    Julie Dennehy, a spokesperson for the PRConsultants Group (PRCG), explained the award underscores the company's approach to its valued clients like 7-Eleven.

    "'The Simpsons' promotion allowed our members around the country to work closely with the company to offer the results-oriented creativity and media relations expertise we are known for nationwide," she said in a released statement. "The PRSA Silver Anvil is further acknowledgement of our team's hard work and the successful partnership with 7-Eleven on this project."

    In total, 11 stores nationwide were fashioned to resemble the fictional Kwik-E-Marts. Character cut-outs and products like Buzz Cola, Krusty O's and Squishees (a nod to 7-Eleven's Slurpees) attracted thousands of "Simpsons" fans to the 7-Eleven stores. Dennehy noted that in the first week of the promotion, members generated nearly $4 million in national print, TV, radio and Internet coverage.

    During the award ceremony, held in New York on June 5, judges called the campaign a "bold, brilliant, genius and award winning" example of reverse product placement. The Wall Street Journal ranked the effort, which generated $7 million in publicity value, as the No. 2 promotion of 2007.

    "We know what's possible and what resonates with the consumer. It was a fabulous 'reverse product placement' campaign," Chabris told CSNews Online.

    As a result of the last year's success, 7-Eleven has incorporated elements into this year's campaigns including "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk" character straws. "The program validated our research on what our core customers like and certainly has raised the bar for promotions," Chabris told CSNews Online.

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