7-Eleven Brews Up Another Political Promo

The Presidential Coffee Cup Poll returns, with a new twist

IRVING, Texas -- America, prepare to “cast your cups.” Convenience-store retailer 7-Eleven Inc. has brought back its election-themed promotion, the 7-Election Presidential Coffee Cup Poll, at participating 7-Eleven stores. But this time, there’s a twist.

Every four years during the U.S. presidential campaign, 7-Eleven customers can purchase coffee in special cups designated for the political party of their choice—blue for Democrat or red for Republican.

"This is 7-Eleven's fifth 7-Election, and it's always a fun way to keep a finger on the caffeinated pulse of American politics," said Laura Gordon, vice president of marketing and brand innovation for the Irving, Texas-based company. "Weeks before 7-Election cups appeared in stores, we were getting calls about whether we were going to hold another coffee cup poll for the 2016 election. We think it's the best-tasting poll around."

However, this time around, 7-Eleven added a new third option—a purple “Speak Up” cup representing a nonpartisan choice. The new Speak Up cup encourages customers to take to social media and discuss the issues, using the hashtag #7ELECTION.

"While preparing for the 2016 count-the-cups poll, we learned that voters, particularly younger ones, aren't just talking about candidates or even political parties this election. They're taking to social media to talk about a variety of issues that are important to them," Gordon said. "So we added the third 'Speak Up' cup to let people say what's on their mind."

7-Eleven is tying this campaign to several upcoming promotions that will no doubt help 7-Election gain more steam. Free Coffee Week will allow 7Rewards members to have any size cup of coffee for free from Oct. 3-9. Following each presidential debate, the chain will host a Dollar Day promotion, offering any size cup of coffee for a dollar on Sept. 27, Oct. 10 and Oct. 20. Finally, on Election Day, Nov. 8, the retailer will again offer coffee in the 7-Election cups for a dollar.

"Each day, more than 1 million Americans buy a cup of coffee at 7-Eleven stores," said Rusty Smith, director of proprietary beverage brands for 7-Eleven. "7-Election is a warmup for the real election Nov. 8 and gets people talking about what party and what issues are important to them. Most polls measure only hundreds or thousands of voters. 7-Election has the potential to survey millions leading up to Election Day." 

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