Participating 7-Eleven locations will offer free medium-size cups of coffees on Thursday morning in honor of National Coffee Day.
The promotion, dubbed CofFREE Day, runs Sept. 29 from 7 to 11 a.m. and includes a Dip-a-Drip interactive game on Facebook.
The game, at www.facebook.com/7-Eleven, allows 7-Eleven fans to launch a ball that dips a "drip" (i.e., obnoxious person) into a giant 7-Eleven coffee cup at a live event to be held Sept. 28 at Union Station in Washington, D.C.
To set up the game, visitors to 7-Eleven's Facebook page were invited to vote on who they deemed the most annoying stereotype, such as the Headset-Talker, Know-It-All, Snooty Barista, Over-Sharer and Horrible Boss.
Participants can take a shot at dunking the target, both in real life outside Union Station and virtually. Fans can log onto Facebook at www.facebook.com/7Eleven to RSVP and queue up for their turn. All participants can watch the Dip-a-Drip in real time as the game will be streamed live on 7-Eleven's Facebook page. Each successful dunker will receive a $25 7-Eleven gift card.
7-Eleven is promoting the giveaway via social media as well as in-store signage, radio advertising, store events and publicity. This is the first time 7-Eleven has participated in National Coffee Day on a large scale. Individual stores have taken part, but this year the company engaged its franchised, corporate and licensed stores in the U.S. and Canada.
7-Eleven claims to be the first retailer to sell coffee in to-go cups, back in 1964. The promotion targets everyone who likes a "fresh, piping-hot cup of coffee," says Nancy Smith, 7-Eleven VP of marketing and guest experience. "It's an opportunity to feature our coffee as well as say 'thank you' to our customers," Smith tells Marketing Daily. "We'd like to build this program to become almost as big as our Slurpee giveaway on 7-Eleven Day (July 11)."
Stores will offer one free cup per customer as long as coffee and medium-size cups are available between 7 and 11 a.m. The price of a medium coffee varies by market, but it's typically about $1.50. "Our hope is to double the number of cups we normally sell each day," a 7-Eleven spokesperson says. "And we typically sell a million cups of coffee a day."
In a survey conducted earlier this month for Dallas-based 7-Eleven earlier this month by Opinion Research Corp. (ORC), more than half of respondents said that making a cup of coffee to match their taste preferences is the most important factor in preparation.
The ORC survey also showed three of four respondents said they prefer to fix their own coffee rather than rely on a barista, food-service employee or machine. That same number said drinking coffee is a part of their daily routine and that they always have their coffee fixed the same way.
The U.S. is the No. 1 coffee-consuming country in the world, followed by Germany and Japan, according to coffee-statistics.com.
Assisting 7-Eleven in developing CofFREE Day and the Dip-a-Drip interactive game is FreshWorks, 7-Eleven Inc.'s advertising and marketing agency, which is a consortium of Omnicom companies.