7-Eleven spending $70M to promote the convenience of its new tech
7-Eleven is launching its biggest commercial campaign in years to try to keep itself at the top of the convenience store world.
The campaign, featuring youth culture-oriented ad spots directed by experimental art house director Harmony Korine, has a budget of $70 million dollars, according to The Wall Street Journal. The price tag is double 7-Eleven’s 2020 marketing spend. The campaign is meant to draw attention to a list of technological enhancements that 7-Eleven has undertaken in recent years, which the customer may not yet associate with the brand.
The campaign, which will run for the rest of the year, comes as 7-Eleven faces a shifting landscape where the types of snacks and beverages once unique to convenience stores are more frequently available at other types of retailers. Online shopping has likewise reduced the value of the chain’s convenience value proposition.
In March, the chain opened its seventh 7-Eleven Evolution store in the U.S., the fourth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to a press release. The store concept is a testing ground for the chain’s new technology and operational enhancements. Evolution stores continue to be localized to individual regions and 7-Eleven says it tweaks individual offerings in the stores based on shopper behavior and feedback. The chain has also been experimenting with new retail mainstay technology like mobile ordering.
7-Eleven finds it difficult to roll out the types of changes and innovations it has been experimenting with across all of its locations, however, because of the limitations imposed by its franchise model, the Journal reported.
Nevertheless the company has been focusing seriously on a U.S. brick-and-mortar expansion.
7-Eleven announced plans to boost its U.S. store count to a whopping 20,000 In August of 2020, according to Nikkei Asia. The announcement of the plans came as the chain inked a deal with Marathon Petroleum to acquire all 4,000-some Speedway locations, which would be added to a portfolio of around 9,000 existing U.S. 7-Elevens.
That acquisition deal, originally slated to close in the first quarter of 2021, has been pushed to the second quarter while the Federal Trade Commission reviews the transaction, according to CSP Daily News.
- 7-Eleven Taps ‘Spring Breakers’ Director Harmony Korine for $70 Million Marketing Campaign – The Wall Street Journal
- Latest 7-Eleven Evolution store opens in Prosper, Texas – 7-Eleven/PR Newswire
- 7-Eleven plans expansion to 20,000 US stores after Speedway buy – Nikkei Asia
- Speedway Sale Pushed to 2nd Quarter – CSP Daily News
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think an ad campaign like the one 7-Eleven is launching will meaningfully affect how people see the brand? How do you see franchisees reacting to the mother chain’s continual insistence on upgrades to the store experience?