November 17, 2009 // Franchising.com // DALLAS – "I spy Sherlock Holmes." That's what 7-Eleven® customers who visit stores or the retailer's website beginning Nov. 16 might be saying as the convenience retailer leaves not-so-vague clues about its end-of-year fresh foods and beverage deals.
Leading up to the Dec. 25 (Christmas Day) release of Warner Bros. Pictures' Sherlock Holmes, the characters from the film—Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson (played by Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, respectively) will appear in 7-Eleven stores on everything from window banners to point-of-purchase (POP) signage at the grill, hot beverage bar, sales counter and fuel pumps to promote the movie and 7-Eleven products, such as Big Bite® Oscar Mayer all-beef hot dogs, Go-Go Taquitos, breakfast sandwiches and coffee.
As part of the movie's advance teaser campaign, an online, viral challenge invites amateur detectives to play as either of the main characters – Sherlock Holmes or Dr. John Watson. The experience can be found at www.221B.sh (which reflects Holmes' London address of 221B Baker Street).
7-Eleven coffee-drinkers who want to get hot on the trail of the challenge can get a head start with the co-branded "How Holmes Are You?" coffee cup sleeves. The sleeves contain a clue and web address, www.711.221B.sh, which connects consumers to a unique 7-Eleven 221B microsite. Players who successfully complete a fingerprint matching game will earn an exclusive clue to help them solve the mystery afoot within the main 221B experience.
The primary Sherlock Holmes online challenge reveals clues leading up to the movie's opening scene, and also gives a hint to the 7-Eleven promotional partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures. One of the pieces of evidence is a vintage newspaper that features a front page ad for "Joe C. Thompson's Coffee Emporium—Open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m." In 1927, Joe C. Thompson Jr. founded The Southland Ice Company, the precursor to the 7-Eleven convenience-store chain.
"Sherlock Holmes has already garnered a significant amount of positive buzz and promises to be a hit this holiday season," said Rita Bargerhuff, 7-Eleven Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "While consumers are already seeing Warner Bros. Pictures' marketing campaign for the film, 7-Eleven customers will get a peek at the Holmes and Watson characters on in-store signage with clever phrases promoting value-oriented offerings, like quality fresh food and coffee."
Working with 7-Eleven on the campaign is its agency of record -- FreshWorks, a consortium of Omnicom advertising and marketing companies.
Tag lines like "Hunger Solved," "Killer Duo," "It's No Mystery," "Grab Our Killer Deal" and "Get a Clue" will promote two-for-$2 Big Bite hot dogs, 99-cent Go-Go Taquitos, new Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches and discounts on coffee refills.
7 Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses some 7,900 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 36,900 stores in 15 countries. During 2008, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of more than $53.7 billion. 7-Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include: #3 in Forbes magazine's Top 20 Franchises to Start, #3 among Top 100 Global Franchises by Franchise Direct, #3 in Store Growth by Convenience Store News, #2 in Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies and #29 among Top 100 Chains in Food Service. In addition, Hispanic Magazine's named 7-Eleven in its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7-Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S., and is expanding through organic growth, acquisitions, and its Business Conversion Program.
In a dynamic new portrayal of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous character, Robert Downey Jr. plays the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. Jude Law portrays Watson, Holmes's longtime colleague. The film also stars Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong and Eddie Marsan. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Silver Pictures Production, in association with Wigram Productions, a Guy Ritchie Film, "Sherlock Holmes." Ritchie directed the film from a screenplay by Michael Robert Johnson and Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg, screen story by Lionel Wigram and Michael Robert Johnson. Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey and Dan Lin produced the film, with Michael Tadross and Bruce Berman serving as executive producers and Steve Clark-Hall co-producing. "Sherlock Holmes" will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.