7-Eleven Proposes "Slurpee Summit" to White House

DALLAS -- 7-Eleven has been getting some free advertising for its signature frozen drink, the Slurpee, from none other than U.S. President Barack Obama, USA TODAY reported.

Ever since the leader of the free world jokingly suggested at Wednesday's day-after-election press conference that he might hold a "Slurpee Summit" with the new Republican leadership, the convenience store chain has been in overdrive trying to make the summit a reality.

"This is a rare opportunity for a brand," said Margaret Chabris, spokeswoman for 7-Eleven, which owns the 44-year-old Slurpee brand. "We don't want to be opportunistic, but nothing has ever been this big for Slurpee."

During recent campaign speeches, Obama said Republicans stood around drinking Slurpees while Democrats did the hard legislative work. Now, Slurpee is getting the last laugh.

According to the USA TODAY report, White House officials were contacted late Wednesday by 7-Eleven representatives with a proposal for the Slurpee brand to cater a Slurpee Summit between key Democrats and Republicans. The summit could be held at the White House or wherever the president chooses, the convenience store giant said.

"If the president wants a Slurpee Summit, we're offering to cater it with red and blue Slurpees -- and we'll even offer a purple Slurpee, since that's what you get when you bring red and blue together," Chabris said.

7-Eleven's request to the White House was made via public relations firm New Partners, which has many employees who worked on the Obama campaign in 2008.

In addition, 7-Eleven planned to place an advertisement today in national newspapers that plays off the idea of Slurpees bringing people together, according to Chabris. One concept in discussion was a picture of a purple Slurpee with a red straw and blue straw sticking out.

7-Eleven is also re-evaluating its overall brand strategy for Slurpee. The retailer is looking at a new theme that positions Slurpee as a drink that "brings people together," Chabris said.

Consultant David Aaker said it doesn't get any better. "If they actually have a summit, it's worth tens of millions of dollars in free advertising," he noted.

Strategy guru Mark Coopersmith suggested Slurpee should quickly go big in social media, nudging folks to have Slurpee Summits to solve problems. "How often do you get the leader of the free world to associate your brand with all of these positive elements?" he added.

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