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7-Eleven, C-Store Industry Go ‘Back to the Future’ (Slideshow)

Retailer “rebrands” social media presence to match film; chains have fun with PhotoShop

DALLAS & HILL VALLEY, Calif. -- On Oct. 21, 2015, convenience-store retailer 7-Eleven Inc. celebrated “Back to the Future Day” with marketing and social media activity. It is the date in the "future" that Marty McFly visits in Back to the Future II.

7-Eleven Back to the Future

“In the motion picture, a 7-Eleven is showcased with a futuristic logo. On Oct. 21, 2015, the 7-Eleven logo from the movie was re-introduced to audiences on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtags #BackToTheFuture and #SnackToTheFuture to engage 7-Eleven fans who are also following the Back to the Future Day conversation in the social space,” company spokesperson Dea Pennington told CSP Daily News.

In the fictional world of Back to the Future II, in the “futuristic” year 2015, there was a 7-Eleven store in Hill Valley, Calif., located where the old Texaco service station used to be in 1985. A new, automated Texaco hovercar station has been built on top of the c-store, but the “new” 7-Eleven logo is still visible for a few frames.

The convenience-store chain also gets a mention in Back to the Future III, set in 1885. After Marty McFly demonstrates his shooting skills, a Colt Peacemaker pistol salesman asks, “Just tell me one thing. Where'd you learn to shoot like that?"

McFly answers, “7-Eleven,” referring to the skills he picked up from playing video games at the c-store.

This was not the first time 7-Eleven has leveraged a pop-culture phenomenon as a marketing tool. In 2007, it actually rebranded a dozed c-stores to the fictional Kwik-E-Mart brand from the TV show and movie The Simpsons, going so far as to put real versions of fictional brands on the shelves such as KrustyO's cereal, Buzz Cola and Squishee (Slurpee) frozen drinks.

The social media buzz and activity around Back to the Future Day was immense, and it was not lost on the convenience-store industry along with 7-Eleven (see slideshow for a few of the many examples). Many c-store chains used the opportunity to post images, many PhotoShopped, of DeLorean time machines filling up at their gas pumps, or inserting their branded products in the hands of Marty McFly and Doc Brown.

RaceTrac used the opportunity for a good cause. It tweeted: “We're proud partners of the @MichaelJFoxOrg sharing a vision of a future without Parkinson’s disease!”

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