Susanna McLeod - "The Simpsons" Kwik E Mart Springs to Life

July 13, 2007

    Aye carumba!Bart Simpson's Squishees, KrustyOs, and Homer's pink "Sprinklicious" doughnuts! And those, and much more are available at the Kwik E Mart, er,I mean at one of the 7-Eleven stores transformed into a Kwik E Mart in celebration of the new The Simpsons Movie opening July 27, 2007...  but just until the end of July. D'oh!

     It's a bit of movie marketing genius. The animated Kwik E Mart we see in almost every episode of The Simpsons is now, temporarily, a tangible thing. An idea born between movie producer Fox Studios and 7-Eleven's advertising agencies, it is reverse product placement, putting movie props in the stores instead of products into movies. "We wanted to make sure the movie stands out as a true cultural event this summer", said Lisa Licht, Fox Marketing Vice President, to the Associated Press.

     It was such a great business idea that the 7-Eleven company transformed twelve of their convenience stores into Kwik E Marts with their own money. Slurpee machines magically morphed into Squishee machines, and the regular cups and straws have changed to feature each member of the Simpson family, plus one for Bart and Homer together. Bart's favorite Buzz Cola, his KrustyO cereal and Homer's pink doughnut delights line the shelves with many other Simpsons products. One of Bart's must-haves is also available - a new Radioactive Man comic book, produced especially for the occasion - at $3.99, it's affordable too.

    With big Kwik E Mart marquees placed over the 7-Eleven signs, a dash of foam covering and big colourful character cut-outs, the stores are a Simpsons fan's dream come Apu should be proud - the clerks are wearing his trademark green shirt with his style of name tag. In the Coquitlam, BC, Kwik E Mart, (near Vancouver) there is the old fellow, Jasper Beardly, in a bug-eye pose on the freezer door, frozen solid. (You might need to be a Simpsons fan to understand that one, though.) The only product left out was Duff Beer, which didn't fit with the promotion. Obviously, the marketing people put a lot of time and thought into the promotion, adding the delicious small details to thrill Simpsons aficionados.

         Kwik E Marts are located in:
  • Burbank, California
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Mountainview, California
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Henderson, Nevada
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Bladensburg, Maryland
  • New York City, New York
  • Coquitlam, British Columbia

     The movie marketing didn't end with the 7-Eleven convenience stores. Jet Blue was chosen as the "Official Airline of Springfield" and will be initiating an airplane called "Woo Hoo Jet Blue!" with the Simpsons theme. They are also holding a Simpsons sweepstakes with various prizes.

    The contest held by Fox Studios to find a real Springfield to represent the movie announced a winner on July 11. A late entry, Springfield, Vermont, with a population of 9,300, was the winner. They received 15,367 votes, with Springfield, Illinois in a close second with 14,364. The total number of votes cast for the 13 towns in an online poll was over 109,000. The winning town receives an early viewing of the movie and international recognition. The Vermont movie theater has only 100 seats!

    Along with the great fun of the regular The Simpsons website, The Simpsons Movie website includes "Make Your Own Avatar" plus a link to MySpace, games and "Tour Springfield".

     Art has become life. It can't get any better than a Kwik E Mart for a Simpsons fanatic,at least until the end of July, that is. Mmm... doughnuts!

The Simpsons Movie website

Simpsons Kwick E6

Simpsons Kwik E1

Simpsons Kwik E2

Simpsons Kwik E7

Simpsons Kwick E4

© Susanna McLeod 2007