Why 7-Eleven’s Marketing Campaigns Are So Tempting, And What Your Company Can Learn

711 sanrio line friends mug

Do you remember 7-eleven’s previous campaign with the Sanrio marker pens? Those were SO adorable and I almost got sucked into that one (keyword here: almost). Now, there’s their ceramic mug collection and I’ve already bought one. Why, you ask? I suppose I could use another mug at home, alongside the other 5,721 mugs I already own. 😛 ‘Cos I want the Hello Kitty mug, of course! And what are the odds of getting one? Sigh…

As you can see in the picture above, I got the Sally mug. And let’s just say these mugs don’t come cheap for consumers. You need to collect stamps in order to ‘redeem’ them. Spend $4 on products at 7-11 and you get 1 stamp. Collect 6 stamps (i.e. spending $24 or more) and you can purchase a mug at $6.90. *Note that you CANNOT choose the mug design you want. You’re given what collectors call a ‘blind box’ (even the staff don’t know which mug is inside). Then you rip off the seal and hope you get the one you desire.

Alternatively, you can collect 20 stamps (i.e. spending $80 or more) and get the mug for free. And it still may not be the design you desire. If you’re in-charge of buying drinks and snacks for your gathering or hot snacks for your fellow colleagues, then you could charge the expenses to the company, and either just top up $6.90 and get a mug or if you have enough stamps, get a mug for free. I guess that’s possibly the only way you could make the most of this campaign.

Pic Credit: 7-eleven SG’s Facebook Page

~ Why This Particular Campaign Is So Tempting And Addictive ~

#1: There are opportunities to earn Double Stamps

This isn’t new, but I love that I can get twice the number of stamps by purchasing certain products. Yesterday, at Vivocity’s 7-11 outlet, I was told that there were 4 products which would give me double stamps: 2 kinds of beverages (I bought one), 7-11’s Kimchi Fried Rice (I bought that too) and a packet of Eclipse’s chewy mints (which I also bought).

This makes it seem like a GAME. And like children, adults love games.

I remember Laneige’s previous roadshow event at Ion. My goodness. Their target audience: mainly working females. But there were claw machines, exercise stepper games and more. People had a whale of a time, collected many freebies, and probably won’t forget about the brand anytime soon.

So if your brand is just conducting Facebook giveaways (which have gotten a tad boring, and often appear at the same time as the giveaways by other brands), you might want to shake things up a bit.

#2: It’s like the lottery, with near-misses

If you’ve noticed (yes, eagle-eyed you), the mugs don’t just have one character on them. My Sally mug has Keroppi on it, happily riding a bicycle. The Brown mug and Leonard mug both have Hello Kitty on them too. If I’d gotten either the Brown or Leonard mug, I really might have made another purchase and hope to get the actual Hello Kitty mug!

If you’d like to change consumer behavior, consider how you can create these near-miss situations. Not too long ago, Mr Bean launched their scratch-and-win campaign. Buy a pancake + drink, for instance, and get a scratchcard. I bought such a set specifically because I wanted to take part in the campaign and win something. I got one of those ‘Thank You For Participating’ messages and was disappointed. Some time after that, I visited another Mr Bean outlet and bought the same thing; and was again disappointed. I don’t think I’ll be going back again. Even if I had ‘won’ a 50-cent discount off my next purchase, or gotten a buy-1-get-1-free coupon, I’d have gone back again and again because winning makes me feel good, and it seems like it’s easy to win / feel good.

So, for your business, can you help customers feel like they are winning? Maybe they can win a sample of another product they haven’t tried yet? Or perhaps they can win a free consultation with your staff. The more they return to you, the more likely they’ll create a habit of coming back.

For instance, when I pay for my bubble tea drinks at Koi, using my membership card, I get a receipt stating how much more I need to spend before I get a free credit top-up. Will I buy drinks from the other bubble tea store next door? No. I’m not getting anything there. Koi also gives me two free drinks during my birthday month! Now you know why there’s always a long queue at their outlets!

#3: There’s a possibility of swapping a mug for the one you want

Head over to 7-eleven Singapore’s facebook page and you’ll find many people commenting on the ceramic mug posts to state which mugs they’ve gotten, which ones they are looking for, which ones they have extras of and which mugs they want to trade for.

So the risk of me having to keep a mug I don’t want is greatly reduced. Say, for instance, I get the My Melody mug and I’m really not a fan. There are probably at least 5 people at any one time who will swap their mugs with me or buy the My Melody one from me.

These 3 factors, on top of the obvious one of wanting to ‘catch em all’ (i.e. collect the full series), makes this campaign so tempting and addictive. Yes, there are spoilsports who will ‘helpfully’ comment on 7-11’s post saying the same mugs can be found on Taobao for less, but it’s just not as fun as working for something and scoring a reward. Sure, you can stay home and cheat while playing Pokemon Go so you can collect all the pokemon without leaving your home, but you miss out on the fun of heading out, chasing down the pokemon, missing some, then eventually scoring victory after victory. It just ain’t the same.


It’s interesting how this mug can cost $24+ and an additional $6.90, and people are still willing to pay for it. Meanwhile, there are mugs sitting in Sanrio stores, for instance, that can be acquired for the same price or less, AND YOU GET TO CHOOSE THE DESIGN YOU WANT, but few people are buying them. Isn’t that strange?

And 7-eleven can, knowing people are on the hunt for double stamp items, push sales of certain products. It’s the first time I’m buying their Kimchi Fried Rice. I probably wouldn’t order Kimchi Fried Rice in any eatery or restaurant (much less a convenience store), but I got it from 7-11. Basically, they can make people buy any product. Isn’t that brilliant?

Say, if you have a certain product in your store that’s close to their expiry date, or you really need to clear out your stock, think of how people will buy what you want them to buy as long as they think it gets them what they want. Think win-win.

Meanwhile, I’m going to get a drink using my Sally mug right now so no one can accuse me of getting this expensive mug and letting it collect dust at home. Heh heh.