Monday, November 7, 2011

Kwik-E-Mart (7-13-07) 70 Reads

Current mood:crazy

If you've seen it on the news, you know what I'm talking about. A couple of 7-Eleven stores underwent (is that a word?) some changes to make themselves look like the Kwik-E-Mart parodies that make fun of them on the Simpsons. During lunch today, on a particularly slow Friday, we shot off to spend a few minutes there.

Here are the pictures. (Sorry...I have no idea what happened to the pictures. I will try to add them later. I have them on the server somewhere I'm sure.)

On the way there, right in front of Disney's Animation Studio in Burbank, we saw these two straight co-workers looking fantastically gay. I thought it was funny because they weren't and the rider in the back was embarrassed. He kept looking away. :)

I was in the back seat and saw this church when we drove by so I quickly snapped a picture of it. I thought it looked interesting.

I immediately recognized it in the distance.

There was a line. But there was plenty to see whilst we waited.

They put this foam material over half of the store to mimic the cartoony look of the cartoon.

Fans of the show came in all shapes and sizes and....

They had some of the cartoons more famous products available for purchase.

Of course it wouldn't be a Kwik-E-Mart without useless products like Bobble-heads and Monopoly.

They even hired look-alikes!

They ran out of Buzz Cola and Krusty O's.

There were a lot of these guys around the store.

Remember that episode?

They even changed their uniforms!

They had the pink donuts! I bought three! Donuts, is there nothing they can't do?
[Edit: I found the picture that inspired that comment above, enjoy.]

I had one.  (It was a Slurpee.  Shhhh, don't tell anyone!)
They had a Hamburger-Dog.  Guess which one it is.  I don't know if it was a normal 7-Eleven product or if they were just the ones that fell on the floor.
With that we left with our overpriced unhealthy snacks in hand and headed back to work.
You can tell its fire season when you see these parts in the mountain brush.  The fire line keeps the fires from spreading, sometimes.
We were kinda in a rush and went faster than this.
On our way back we pass the Miller brewery.
Go ahead and drool guzzlers.

Wish you were here!
Thank you for visiting my blog once again!  There was a security guy at the exit saying the cherished line, "Thank you come again!"

 The following was added to give readers a background to the story if they hadn't heard it.
Article taken from MSNBC.COM

D'oh! 7-Elevens become 'Simpsons' stores

Marketing stunt is turning dozens of locations into 'Kwik-E-Marts'

DALLAS - Over the weekend, 7-Eleven Inc. turned a dozen stores into Kwik-E-Marts, the fictional convenience stores of "The Simpsons" fame, in the latest example of marketers making life imitate art.
Those stores and most of the 6,000-plus other 7-Elevens in North America will sell items that until now existed only on television: Buzz Cola, KrustyO's cereal and Squishees, the slushy drink knockoff of Slurpees.
It's all part of a campaign to hype the July 27 opening of "The Simpsons Movie," the big-screen debut for the long-running television cartoon, which loves to lampoon 7-Eleven as a store that sells all kinds of unhealthy snacks and is run by a man with a thick Indian accent.

For 20th Century Fox Film Corp. and Homer's creators at Gracie Films, the stunt is a cheap way to call attention to their movie, since 7-Eleven is bearing all the costs, which executives of the retail chain put at somewhere in the single millions.
At 7-Eleven, they're hoping it shows the ubiquitous chain has a trait seen in few corporations — the ability to laugh at themselves.
"We thought if you really want to do something different, the idea of actually changing stores into Kwik-E-Marts was over the top but a natural," said Bobbi Merkel, an executive for of 7-Eleven's advertising agency, FreshWorks, a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. "It shows they get the joke."
The monthlong promotion has been rumored a long time — it's hard to keep a secret known by so many suppliers and franchisees — but 7-Eleven managed to keep the locations of the stores quiet until early Sunday morning. That's when the exteriors of 11 U.S. stores and one in Canada were flocked in industrial foam and given new signs to replicate the animated look of Kwik-E-Marts.
The U.S. locations where a 7-Eleven store was transformed into a Kwik-E-Mart are New York City; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Burbank, Calif.; Los Angeles; Henderson, Nev.; Orlando, Fla.; Mountain View, Calif.; Seattle; and Bladensburg, Md.
The idea grew out of conversations between Fox and 7-Eleven's advertising agency.
"We wanted to make sure the movie stands out as a true cultural event this summer," said Lisa Licht, a marketing vice president at Fox. "It has to stand out from other summer movies and TV shows."
The Fox/7-Eleven deal is an example of a practice called reverse product placement. Instead of just putting products prominently in a movie or TV show, fake goods move from the screen to reality.
In some cases, 7-Eleven has contracted with manufacturers of similar products to make their Kwik-E-Mart counterparts. Malt-O-Meal, the Northfield, Minn., cereal maker, will conjure up a recipe for KrustyO's, for example. In others, existing products will simply be renamed. One flavor of 7-Eleven's own Slurpee will be sold as "WooHoo! Blue Vanilla" Squishee for the month.

Other recent examples of reverse product placement include Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, which spun out of the Harry Potter books and movies, and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurants, which opened after the movie "Forrest Gump." 7-Eleven has done other movie-themed promotions, including one this spring for the latest Spiderman installment.
After Fox pitched a 7-Eleven tie-in last year, representatives from the studio, the stores, and Gracie Films — including Simpsons creator Matt Groening and executive producer James L. Brooks, met in Los Angeles to kick around ideas. Brooks added one — holding a contest to let one fan be drawn into a future episode of the TV show.
7-Eleven executives loved the idea. They had surveys showing a strong overlap between their customers and fans of the show — both tend to be young and male. It sounded like cash registers ringing.
"They've been looking at Squishees and KrustyO's and Buzz Cola for years and have never been able to put their hands on it," said Merkel, the advertising executive.
But they won't find Duff beer, the brand chugged by Homer Simpson. The movie will be rated PG-13, and selling a Simpson-themed beer "didn't seem to fit," said Rita Bargerhuff, a 7-Eleven marketing executive. "That was a tough call, but we want to make sure it's considered good, responsible fun."
Bargerhuff predicted extra sales to Simpsons fans will more than offset the cost of the promotion and create new customers for the chain. She also said the chain is prepared for crowds and will have extra security and clerks at the Kwik-E-Marts.
The promotion, however, is not risk-free. The proprietor of Kwik-E-Mart is a man named Apu who speaks in a heavy Indian accent. He is based on a manager Groening encountered while shopping at a 7-Eleven in Los Angeles nearly 20 years ago and plays to stereotypes about convenience-store operators and Asian immigrants.
Many of 7-Eleven's franchisees are Indian, company officials say, although they say they don't track exact numbers. Bargerhuff said they were "overwhelmingly positive" after hearing of the Kwik-E-Mart idea, but "it was not a 100 percent endorsement."
"There was definitely a concern of offending people," she said. "But they seemed to understand that 'The Simpsons' makes fun of everybody. The vast majority saw this as a great opportunity."
That's the case for Kumar Assandas, a 28-year-old franchisee whose parents immigrated from India. His store in suburban Las Vegas is one of the temporary Kwik-E-Marts.
"I know it's a stereotype, but it doesn't bother me. Everybody knows it's a joke," Assandas said. "I'm a big Simpsons fan myself, and maybe subconsciously it even inspired me to become a 7-Eleven owner."

  • Bring me water, cool! i had heard that they were changing over.. i think it's the coolest... if your into that kind of thing. great blog! did you take all the pix?
  • RAHCOOL You beat me to making this blog, except mine was gonna talk about how you have to wait in line for 45 minutes to get into the place and then once you're in there all the clerks humiliate themselves by being forced to say "Thank you Come Again!" in that Apu voice. They also tell you to hurry up and buy. It seems like they are really over having the whole Simpsons thing now because its so frequented that the store always looks like a mess (the one in Burbank anyway). It's kind of cool to go look at but I was very disappointed that I could never find Duff beer.
    • HektikLyfe It's open 24 hrs. We waited in line for a little over 10 minutes.
  • lynn Hey I love thi blog!!!! I cant wait to see if they do it to our 7 elevens here!! if they do I will definetly take pictuers!!! thanks for the info!
  • Deborah That is freakin' awesome! This is the first time I heard about this. Your blog made me feel like I was there! Great details! Thanks for the read :)
    • HektikLyfe Glad to hear that. :) I like to share the fun things we do.
      4 years ago
  • that's pretty sis was gonna check one out in NY...i enjoyed the views of cali...i haven't been there in a while
    • HektikLyfe Now that Summer has returned you will be seeing more of California in our adventure reports. :)
      4 years ago
  • Apple Something I didn't know anything about this--it's SO COOL! Is there a 7-Eleven in the San Gabriel Valley that has done this?
    Do you know for how long they will be Kwik E Marts?

    • HektikLyfe ALL the 7-Eleven's carry the products but only a few are converting their stores like this.
      4 years ago
  • Molly This is freaking AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

    • HektikLyfe Yeah it was pretty fun. They should do this more often for more movies. I wouldn't be all over Transformers car dealerships and such.
      4 years ago