28: THE CREATIVE EFFECTIVENESS AWARD (THE CREATIVE EFFECTIVENESS AWARD)
Take it to Eleven - 7-Eleven
|Title of Entry:||Take it to Eleven|
|Entrant Company:||DENTSU CREATIVE|
|Creative Team:||Chief Creative Officer: Menno Kluin
Executive Creative Director: Devon Hong
Creative Director: Michael Schactner
Creative Director: Andrew Hunter
Creative Director: Doug Murray
Jr Copywriter: Emmanuel Rocha
Jr Art Director: Jorge Diaz
Group Design Director: Brian Gartside
Senior Designer: Sophia Del Plato
Associate Designer: Luis Valencia
SVP, Integrated Production: Carissa Ranelycke
Executive Producer: Andrea Rastogi
Senior Producer: Adrienne Darnell
|Submission Text:||After years of underinvestment, 7-Eleven had been losing their role in the daily American routine. There was softened brand relevance and little brand affinity with younger audiences. To turn things around, and survive the added headwinds of COVID, we had to dig deep - re-finding the truth at the core of the brand and articulating it for a new generation. We launched a campaign that boosted store visits, brand consideration, and turned up big ROI.
We dug deep into our current customer and our growth target through ethnographies and learned that our consumers “work hard and go for it.” They believe in the hustle, and they live it every day. Merging these insights with the current landscape, we uncovered a two-pronged approach:
- “Eleven-worthy” fans – We noticed that a modest amount of Gen Z online was already treating our store like a playground, although the brand advertising hadn’t been talking to them. We needed to match their chaotic energy and love for 7-Eleven by speaking directly to them in fresh ways. Understanding our fans was an inspiration to reinvent the brand in their image. This approach would create a smart way to listen to, learn, and leverage the audience in paid social.
- Product Lovers – Despite declining store visits, we knew people were still missing out on their faves and routines. We created product-specific affinity groups to match up the people with the products that could bring a little magic to their days.
By dialing up our fan engagement and using a personalized approach to finding our product lovers, we were able to drive brand re-appraisal—and prove that 7-Eleven was the frictionless, modern convenience they needed.
We brought the strategic idea to life with creative platform, "Take it to Eleven.” More than a tagline or turn of phrase, it’s a brand mantra that quickly became a rallying cry for where, when, and how we elevated communications, partnerships, promotions, placements, audiences, and technology.
In addition to establishing communications that helped 7-Eleven reclaim the Eleven in our name, refreshing promotions by sales period and running with exclusive offers targeting our affinity audiences helped us optimize consideration and conversion opportunities bespoke to each channel.
We focused on core elements to defy people’s expectations of convenience stores:
- Specific, diverse stories. To represent cultures that authentically shape our customer experience, we featured people like an actual young Chicana lowrider bike crew in our Big Gulp commercial and a black actor known for his roots in JB roller skating in our Slurpee spot. Heroing customers and products was key to bringing our ‘11’ energy to life in culturally fluent ways.
- Modern convenience cues like the 7-Eleven delivery and rewards programs became ubiquitous calls-to-action in every TV and Video spot via strategic end cards.
TV and online video played a huge role in activating “Take it to Eleven” and bringing our bold presence back into people’s everyday moments: the first time in over five years that the brand was back on bigger (and smaller) screens. Our approach to media mix was as important as the way we crafted our story.
We diversified how we took our products (and promotions) to ‘11’. Beyond the mass reach of video, digital and social content worked hard against our affinity audiences with a goal of converting them. Paid social channels like Snapchat worked hard against our younger demo and used native platform behavior to turn paid advertisements into an opportunity for two-way dialogue and created fun ways to engage.
After launch, we remapped the role of creative by channel. Our commercials were performing so well in people’s feeds that we decided to make social media video-first. This turned out to be a critical move in maximizing our ROI. Additionally, we got ahead of the latest privacy regulations and tech challenges with the iOS 14 launch, leaning more into Android devices wherever possible.
Outside of paid media, we looked for ways to listen to our fans more and create momentum for this new brand MO. We took fans’ social feeds to Eleven and engaged with them in ways no other c-stores ever would, like with our “Night Twitter” while all of the “normal” people were sleeping. And when we found out that a girl punk band wrote a song about our very own 7-Eleven Nachos – we decided to take their burgeoning careers to an ‘11’ too – giving them the budget and resources to film a proper music video.
“Take it to Eleven” super-charged the 7-Eleven brand among younger and lapsed consumers, reversing pandemic-sized declines, elevating brand perceptions and driving so many trips back into the store that the campaign more than paid for itself.
Objective: Drive brand re-appraisal particularly among younger light and lapsed customers.
Results: The new energy “Take it to Eleven” brought to the brand (vs. the functional way it had been perceived in prior years) was palpable.
-Brand perception up 10%, consideration to visit up 15% (Among Gen Pop)
-Serious brand consideration up 30% (Among Gen Z)
-Lift in modern brand attributes - fun +29%, energetic +53%, Bold +37% (Gen Z)
-Lift in modern brand and product attributes – are fun +37%, sets trends +30%, have products I like that I can’t get anywhere else +29% (Gen Z)
Objective: Drive trips back to 7-Eleven stores.
Results: The campaign saw an 8.7% increase in trips to stores and 230% ROI on media investment. “Take it to Eleven” wasn’t just driving re-appraisal, but also incremental sales back to the brand. The campaign proved that the right kind of brand marketing can create financial momentum for the entire company – a huge win in a category still in recovery from the strong headwinds of the pandemic.
Objective: Stoke fan love via increased organic fan engagement and earned media
Results: 7-Eleven engaged fans like never before–especially when our 24/7 brand dialed turned Twitter into a 24/7 opportunity increasing fan engagement over +3,000%. The brand earned 161M Media Impressions with positive tonality.
Director: Harmony Korine
Director, Marketing: Neha Nayyar
Head of Consumer Insights & Analytics: Mario Mijares
SVP, Chief Marketing Officer: Marissa Jarratt
Director, Digital Content: Marissa Eddings
Sr Director, Brand Strategy: Paige Jones
EVP, Integrated Strategy: Raig Adolfo
VP, Integrated Strategy: Amie Dowker
Strategy Director: Angie Arner
Senior Strategist: Ashley Evangelista
Head of Strategy & Insights: Jackie Mockridge Mattina
Director, Consumer Insights & Analytics: Danielle Moylan
Senior Manager, Audience & Insights: Nicola Flynn
Group Account Director: Joshua Safran
Associate Account Director: Molly Clark
Senior Account Executive: Brianna Rape
Senior Project Manager: Valerie Maroney