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Sunday, April 18, 2021

In Market: Java the vote!

Americans aren’t agreeing on much this year, but most of us – 83 percent of adults, anyway, according to the National Coffee Council – drink the javalicious juice of the gods: coffee.

No wonder then that Irving-based 7-Eleven is giving Americans the right to vote for their candidate. That and $1 will get you a cup of coffee. No, it really will. The day after each of the three presidential debates, 7-Eleven is offering freshly brewed coffee in its extra-large 7-Election Stay-Hot Cups at a presidential price. “The buck stops here,” you know.

The first Dollar Coffee Day was Sept. 27, after the first of what passed for a debate, at participating U.S. 7-Eleven stores. The deal will be offered again after the next debates, scheduled for Oct. 4 (the vice presidential debate, which always needs an infusion of rocket fuel), Oct. 9 and Oct. 19 – and on Election Day (Nov. 8) when you might want to add something a little mood-altering to your favorite jet fuel. Pricing may vary by store and there are those funny things that presidents like – taxes – that might change the price a bit.

“Democracy is brewing at 7-Eleven, one cup of coffee at a time,” said Laura Gordon, 7-Eleven vice president of marketing and brand innovation. “After watching the informative debates, we encourage every American to come in the next day to choose their favorite party in exchange for a great deal on coffee.”

This was said before the first debate, as you can probably tell, because the word “informative” was used.

Each post-debate coffee vote will count toward the ongoing 7-Election campaign totals.

This election year marks the fifth quadrennial 7-Election Presidential Coffee Cup Poll. The campaign invites 7-Eleven customers to “cast their cups” by buying a cup of C8H10N4O2 (the caffeine molecule) in specially marked 7-Election Stay Hot Coffee cups – blue for Democrat, red for Republican and, new this year, a nonpartisan purple Speak Up cup. Hey, at 7-Eleven even Gary Johnson and Jill Stein get a vote! Talk about democracy. Heck, bring a magic marker and write in your choice if you can’t stomach the ones we’ve found ourselves with this cycle.

“We think $1 coffee is an All-American perk that cuts across party lines,” Gordon added. Well said, Laura. Stop by for a cup o’ joe anytime.

Some may scoff at this retail marketing brew-ha-ha, but don’t do a spit take. In 2012, for the fourth time in four presidential elections, 7‑Eleven’s bean heads correctly called – or drank – the U.S. presidential election. Take that, Karl Rove.

7-Election results had President Barack Obama handily grinding out a re-election victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, with 59 percent of the 7‑Eleven caffeinated electorate selecting blue Obama cups over 41 percent for the red Romney cups. The real election was closer, but maybe Republicans aren’t as jitter-juice jolly as Democrats.

Who voted? A staggering 6 million cups (ballots) were cast, and results in each of the previous wakey juice polls accurately predicted those in the “real” elections.

Other area businesses electing to use this silly season for some marketing mojo include Frito-Lay’s triangular corn chip, Doritos.

Doritos is hip to the wayward youth of America, so the company is aiming to increase the youth vote. It is partnering with Rock the Vote to get the attention of those skateboard-riding, cellphone-obsessed youth. And – how to put this delicately – the chips are somewhat associated with a certain substance now legal in Colorado that causes users to chow down voraciously. Some of those people are often not terribly involved in civic affairs, unless they’re voting for their favorite substance.

As part of the Boldest Choice campaign, Doritos is introducing a limited-edition Doritos bag created for those not registered to vote. It has no taste, no crunch and no chips, to illustrate that if you don’t make a choice, you don’t get a choice.

“This election season, Doritos believes the boldest choice is making a choice,” said Jennifer Saenz, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Plano-based Frito-Lay. “We have always believed every single person can make an impact. We all have a voice and it’s important we exercise that voice and be heard. Our campaign reinforces the idea that if you don’t make a choice, someone else chooses for you.”

Consumers can order a bag of “No Choice” Doritos at www.Doritos.com/vote and send it to someone they know who is not registered to vote. Crunch on that, nonvoters.

Crunch the vote, drink the vote, whatever. Vote.

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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