- Convenience store chain 7-Eleven added “Pokemon” features to its loyalty app as part of a promotional tie-in for the movie “Pokemon Detective Pikachu,” which premieres May 10 in U.S. theaters. The promotion includes augmented reality (AR) experiences, photo filters, movie-themed collectibles, discounts on coffee and an Instagram sweepstakes, the company announced.
- The “Ryme City Neighborhood Watch” AR experience will have a new “Find the Missing Pokémon” activity each week that unlocks rewards for players including free food and drinks at 7-Eleven.
- In addition, the campaign’s Mystery Slurpee Sweepstakes gives customers a chance to win a year of free Slurpees by guessing three flavors that make up the limited-edition Mystery Slurpee drink and posting their guesses to the Slurpee account on Instagram. Contestants can post photos, videos or GIFs of themselves with the hashtags #MysterySlurpee, #DetectivePikachu and #Sweepstakes in the caption.
7-Eleven’s “Pokémon” tie-in is the convenience chain’s latest effort to boost store traffic and drive downloads for its app that rewards repeat purchases with loyalty points that can be redeemed at later visits. The campaign aims to reach tech-savvy millennials, Generation Z and kids who have grown up on “Pokémon,” which started as a video game in the mid-1990s that urged players to collect fictional characters and train them for virtual battle.
“Millennials, who played the original video game 20 years ago, are parents now and can enjoy the Pokémon phenomenon all over again with their kids,” Tarang Sethia, 7‑Eleven’s VP of digital customer experience, said in the announcement.
7-Eleven is focused on driving sign-ups to its loyalty program, which has expanded from offering a free seventh drink after buying six into a more comprehensive system of rewards to more strongly engage customers. The company has made mobile-based promotions a central part of its marketing activities. For example, the chain last month collaborated with sports drink company BodyArmor and the NCAA on a March Madness AR experience for its loyalty program members. Last year, 7-Eleven added football-related AR activities to some of its stores to coincide with the start of the NFL’s regular season. For its “Deadpool 2” promotion, 7-Eleven decorated stores with scannable “zapcodes” that customers could scan to unlock AR experiences.
Furthermore, 7-Eleven’s new “Pokémon” campaign includes a social media contest, which have also become popular among brands seeking to reach tech-savvy audiences who are more likely to consume media on mobile devices. Busch Beer, JetBlue and T.J. Maxx have run similar social media contests that invite mobile users to share user-generated content with their friends, families and followers, further extending the campaigns’ reach.