Marketing Campaign Case Study: How The President Of The United States Helped Slurpee

The best marketing communications professionals think on their feet, mobilize rapidly and do it in an authentic way that aligns with their brand image and delights their customers. I’m impressed by what the Slurpee team did in the last few weeks with their Unity Tour marketing campaign, which wrapped up a two-week-long cross-country journey from Dallas to Washington D.C. on Thursday.

Here's 6 things they did right with this campaign:

They were nimble enough to seize a great opportunity quickly
The genesis of the tour began during the heated rhetoric of the 2010-midterm elections, when President Obama used an analogy about Republicans sipping on Slurpees while Democrats get the car –aka the nation–out of the ditch. This was manna from heaven for the Slurpee marketing team and they jumped right in to capitalize on it; White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs maintained that 7-Eleven (coyly, I'm sure) "declined to comment specifically that Slurpees were a Republican drink."

They created a campaign that is not only clever but upbeat and positive
The day after the elections, Bloomberg reporter Hans Nichols jokingly asked President Obama if he would have John Boehner and other Republican leaders over for a "Slurpee Summit." The President laughed and then quipped that Slurpees are delicious drinks and that he might very well serve Slurpees during the conversation with leaders from both parties.

Slurpee launched a new grape flavored slush drink to take on a nationwide tour called "purple for the people." The color was chosen based on the idea of mixing red for Republicans and blue for Democrats in hopes the parties would work together in passing legislation on the Hill.

They combined social media and traditional marketing seamlessly
The national tour, documented with video, was replete with special offers, customer interaction, and giveaways, and was complemented beautifully by humorous and authentic social media marketing that represented the latest trends in marketing.

They maintained a strong and consistent brand voice
Throughout the campaign, whether it was on the website, various social media outposts, or in comments they made to the media, Slurpee found exactly the right tone and stuck with it.

They were not afraid to be real
Slurpee gave people an insider look into the tour with some behind the scenes footage.

They made sure the campaign was consistent with the personality of the product
These slightly tongue-in-cheek comments from 7-Eleven Marketing Manager, Daniel May, show how Slurpee doesn’t take itself too seriously. The team knows the product is fun and is willing to take some risks:

"We are hoping there will be a Slurpee summit…The tour has sent formal invitations to everybody and everybody is welcome…We truly hope there is one and if they want Slurpees there, we will make sure to bring them."

All of this obviously caught the attention of the media. Here's video below of some news coverage of the President's comments.

Natalie Zensius is a marketing communications strategist with experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Learn more about Natalie at

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