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Oh thank heaven for endorsers!

Oh thank heaven for endorsers!

November 04, 2010

Capitalizing on President Obama's suggestion that he hold a "Slurpee Summit" with Republican leaders, 7-Eleven launched its "One Slurpee Nation" ad campaign and its "Slurpee Unit Tour" just days later. It's a great lesson in the power of endorsers and how a brand can seize the moment.

7-Eleven is about to get a huge boost in Slurpee sales thanks to the most powerful man on the planet ' the President of the United States.

If you haven't heard yet, earlier in the election campaign President Barack Obama referred to Republicans as sitting around drinking Slurpees while the Democrats were working hard trying to getting legislation passed. That didn't go over well with Republicans. So in a post-election press conference viewed by the world Obama jokingly suggested he might hold a 'Slurpee Summit' with the new Republican leadership over 7-Eleven's slushy soft drink.

Officials at 7-Eleven were shocked. 'Nothing has ever been this big for Slurpee,' a spokesperson said afterwards. And as sales usually cool at this time of year, this is something most brands only dream about.

Remember the 'Beer Summit'? Bud Light got a big PR lift after Obama drank a Bud Light with an African-American Harvard professor and the white police officer who arrested him.

It's a great lesson in the power of endorsers. I'll show you how 7-Eleven plans to seize this opportunity and how you can tap into the power of endorsers in your market.

I often talk about the power of endorsers and how important they are to your marketing.

Of course, nothing gets much bigger than the president to endorse your product but in every industry and in every market there are people who everyone else looks up to.

Some are “big talker endorsers” like the president or a celebrity who are always on stage. But most endorsers are “small talkers” who have just as much clout. (“Small talkers” are the reason Hush Puppies became a big name brand in the shoe industry in the 1990s. See “How to create a buzz and boost sales without spending a dime.”)



The secret is trying to find the endorsers you need. Here are just a couple ways:

In anticipation of the Nov. 18 "Slurpee Summit," 7-Eleven launched its "Slurpee Unit Tour 2010" travelling from Dallas to Washington D.C. and making pit stops along the way giving out free Slurpees.

1. Send the “big talkers” samples of your product or offer to perform a service for them to prove just how much better yours is compared to the competition. Then, once you’ve impressed them, ask them for a testimonial you can use in your marketing.

2. You can find “big talkers” and “small talkers” on the blogs. Just about every market now has bloggers who have gained a following. But just about every writer is looking for new material to write about. Offer them to sample your product and service and if impressed they’re likely to include it in their blog. Be sure to tell them how your product or service is different than anything else. Don’t leave it up them to figure it out.

3. Pay them. You can always enter into a joint venture partnership in which they promote your product or service to their prospects and you split the revenue. In many cases, the partner gets anywhere between 20% - 50% of the revenue and you keep the rest.

And then there’s the case in which a “big talker” will endorse a product unsolicited as the president did earlier this week. In those cases, you must act quickly. And that’s exactly what 7-Eleven is doing right now.



Immediately, officials at 7-Eleven contacted the White House with a proposal to cater the Slurpee Summit. Smartly, 7-Eleven’s request was made via the public relations firm New Partners, which employs many people who worked on Obama’s presidential campaign.

They've also launched the "Slurpee Unity Tour 2010" in which they're travelling from Dallas to Washington D.C. and giving out free Slurpees along the way. Fans can follow the tour on Facebook.

Beginning today, 7-Eleven began placing ads in national newspapers that plays off the idea of Slurpees bringing people together. How clever is that?

Come Thanksgiving we may even see the old Norman Rockwell image of a family gathered around their turkey dinner sipping Slurpees.

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,


Jon Goldman, President & CEO 
Brand Launcher 
Lumpy Mail