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7 Eleven's Free Slurpee Day: A Great Money Making Tactic

Taha Kazmi By Taha Kazmi on
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I have loved Slurpees' ever since I was a wee lad. That goes for just about all of my friends as well. I'm 27 now and married, and some of my friends are police officers, some are claims adjusters, and some are cube-dwelling Dilbert's such as myself... and we all have different religious beliefs and political views. However, the one thing we all have in common is our love for Slurpees'. It may just be a generational thing - perhaps an isolated group-interest (doubtful), but it is our "thing". Long story short: Slurpees' make us happy.

So there I was yesterday (July 11th, 2010)... minding my business and being my mellow lazy-self on what I thought was just another uneventful Sunday Morning when suddenly I hear my phone make that irritating beeping noise that it makes when I get a text message. "Who dare disturb my slumber?" I wonder; it better be important if it's going to make me pause my recorded episode of "The Gates" that I was eager to catch up on.

As it turned out, it was important; The message was from my friend and simply stated the following: "Free Slurpee Day at 7/11". It turns out that yesterday was "7-Eleven Day" (7/11/2010). Due to it being 7-Eleven Day, the franchise employed one of its wonderful marketing strategies in which customers could get free slurpees' between the hours of 7:00 AM and 11:00PM (the original operating hours of the franchise and also what it is named after). There is more to the "conditions" of this free-slurpee offering... but since I was not one of the original "secondary-sources" of this information, I only knew what most people did from the rapid word-of-mouth advertising done by their friends. Upon asking my friend for more details, he told me that it was because it's 7/11/2010 and that I have to go in between the hours of 7am and 11pm to get my free slurpee. I figured this was all there was to it and that the only catch is that even though it's a 24-hour store, I can only get my slurpee between 7am and 11pm; sounded like a pretty great deal to me!

So I forward the "free slurpee day" text onto my friends and relatives in addition to vague details I had received. I then quickly call up one of my local friends that I just texted about the free slurpee deal and it turns out he had just received my text moments earlier and was about to call me also. It was quickly decided that we both wanted to partake in this wondrous occasion and that I would go pick him up so that we could head over to the 7-Eleven nearest to his house. I got off the couch with great difficulty and got myself upstairs where I took a shower, shaved, and changed - all this for my free slurpee (there are rarely other occasions such as this that will get me out of the house on a Sunday morning).

Once I picked him up, we immediately started rambling about how cool it was for 7-Eleven to have a free slurpee day, what flavor-mixes we planned to get, what our favorite collector's cups are, and other randomness relating to slurpees'. Upon arriving at the 7-Eleven store - anticipating a mad rush for the greatest slushie-style drink ever made, we quickly rushed to the back of the store where the slurpee dispensers are located. Once we reached the dispensers we found ourselves becoming part of a crowd of people, young and old, gathered around the dispensers. It only took us a moment to realize that there wasn't anyone actually using the dispensers; they were just crowded around it silently, confused almost. At first I figured it was because slurpees' are so great that it can be a bit stressful and confusing trying to figure out which flavors to pick from, but then I realized everyone was actually trying to figure out which cup is the free one (as it turns out, no one actually decided to ask the store manager out of fear that he may say "what free-slurpee day?").

Finally, through the use of our highly developed investigative skills, we found a small cup-holder box on top of the dispenser labeled "free 7.11 oz slurpee". Then we saw how small the cup was, and for those of you who do not know what a 7.11 oz cup looks like, it is barely bigger than those lovely urine sample cups you are given for drug-tests before being able start that new job. We paused for a moment, just staring at this tiny cup in horror. We soon found the slot for its customer-usable counterparts in the cup-dispenser section; they were so small that people had trouble gripping and pulling them out. At first I was very upset and even texted my friend who had originally texted me about the free slurpee event and told him: "...*explicit-explicit*, you didn't tell me the cups were for hobbits".

In front of us was a family of five, 3 kids (between the ages of 5 and 9) and their parents. As the children attempted to fill up their little cups with their favorite slurpee flavors, they kept looking back at their parents in disbelief, fishing for whatever sympathetic gesture they could get. Finally the dad, overcome by the pity for his children and their unfortunate predicament, decided he could no longer withstand his children's despairing glances back at him and said: "Well, since we're already here, go ahead and get whatever size you want - I'll take care of it". His children left that store with smiles that day; it could have easily ended tragically for those children... but it didn't because of the courageous act of their father.

My friend and I took solace from the father's charismatic handling of the situation, and through our moment of disappointment, we too emerged stronger and renewed with hope. It was decided that since we were already at the store and in the mood for the cold, refreshing taste of a Slurpee, that we would not short ourselves either and buy whatever size we fancied. And so it was that we purchased our large-sized slurpees', both Coca-Cola flavored (I normally mix mine with Cherry, but there was no Cherry flavor available at that time).

As I approached my friend's house to drop him off, we wrapped up our conversation about how awesome the new Xbox 360 Slim he recently purchased was; a topic that essentially started to distract us from the events that transpired just minutes earlier in the 7-Eleven store. I said my goodbyes and headed home. Upon arriving at home my wife smiled and said "Oh wow, I didn't know they let you get the large sizes for free"... this stung a little as it poured salt on fresh wounds. I then explained the situation to my wife and she immediately understood how troubling the matter was and offered comforting words. I googled the Free Slurpee Day event (something I should have done from the beginning) and realized that I could have gotten a free large slurpee had I brought in my own cup (of which I had many); and that if I didn't bring in my own cup, my only option was the 7.11 oz cup that was offered in-store.

Since myself and most of my friends and relatives were not aware of these additional details, they decided to do as I had done - as the father with the three children had decided to do; They all too bought their own slurpees' based on their size-preference. This is something I'm guessing thousands of people across America did yesterday... something that probably added up to a record-sale day for 7-Eleven in regards to slurpee-sales. An amazing marketing tactic for 7-Eleven, and as for myself, well... I decided to text that same friend who told me about the event and told him: "You owe me $1.89".