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Thread: When TV and Reality Meet ...

  1. #1
    Hot Stove Season HotCorner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    The 513

    When TV and Reality Meet ...

    Apu: You see, whether igloo, hut, or lean-to, or a geodesic
    dome, There's no structure I have been to, which I'd
    rather call my home.

    When I first arrived, you were all such jerks,
    But now I've come to looooooove your quirks.

    Maggie with her eyes so bright,
    Marge with hair by Frank Lloyd Wright,
    Lisa can philosophise, Bart's adept at spinning lies,
    Homer's a delightful fella, sorry 'bout the salmonella.
    Homer: Heh heh, that's OK.

    Apu: Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart?
    Now here comes the tricky part.
    Oh, won't you rhyme with me?
    Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart?
    Marge: Their floors are stick-E-Mart,
    Lisa: They made Dad sick-E-Mart,
    Bart: Let's hurl a brick-E-Mart,
    Homer: The Kwik-E-Mart is real... D\'oh!

    OFF: Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart?
    Apu: Not meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...[held for next three lines]
    OFF: Forget the Kwik-E-Mart,
    Goodbye to Kwik-E-Mart,
    Who needs the Kwik-E-mart?
    Apu: Not me.

    7-Elevens turn into 'Simpsons' Kwik-E-Marts
    - "Simpsons Movie" changes 7-Elevens to Kwik-E-Marts
    - 7-Eleven converted exteriors of 12 stores
    - "Simpsons Movie" due out July 27

    DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- Over the weekend, 7-Eleven Inc. turned a dozen stores into Kwik-E-Marts, the fictional convenience stores of "The Simpsons" fame, in the latest example of marketers making life imitate art.
    Those stores and most of the 6,000-plus other 7-Elevens in North America will sell items that until now existed only on television: Buzz Cola, KrustyO's cereal and Squishees, the slushy drink knockoff of Slurpees.
    It's all part of a campaign to hype the July 27 opening of "The Simpsons Movie," the big-screen debut for the long-running television cartoon, which loves to lampoon 7-Eleven as a store that sells all kinds of unhealthy snacks and is run by a man with a thick Indian accent.
    For 20th Century Fox Film Corp. and Homer's creators at Gracie Films, the stunt is a cheap way to call attention to their movie, since 7-Eleven is bearing all the costs, which executives of the retail chain put at somewhere in the single millions.
    At 7-Eleven, they're hoping it shows the ubiquitous chain has a trait seen in few corporations -- the ability to laugh at themselves.
    "We thought if you really want to do something different, the idea of actually changing stores into Kwik-E-Marts was over the top but a natural," said Bobbi Merkel, an executive for of 7-Eleven's advertising agency, FreshWorks, a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. "It shows they get the joke."
    The monthlong promotion has been rumored a long time -- it's hard to keep a secret known by so many suppliers and franchisees -- but 7-Eleven managed to keep the locations of the stores quiet until early Sunday morning. That's when the exteriors of 11 U.S. stores and one in Canada were flocked in industrial foam and given new signs to replicate the animated look of Kwik-E-Marts.
    The U.S. locations where a 7-Eleven store was transformed into a "Simpsons" Kwik-E-Mart are New York City; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Burbank, California; Los Angeles; Henderson, Nevada; Orlando, Florida; Mountain View, California; Seattle; and Bladensburg, Maryland.
    The idea grew out of conversations between Fox and 7-Eleven's advertising agency.
    "We wanted to make sure the movie stands out as a true cultural event this summer," said Lisa Licht, a marketing vice president at Fox. "It has to stand out from other summer movies and TV shows."
    The Fox/7-Eleven deal is an example of a practice called reverse product placement. Instead of just putting products prominently in a movie or TV show, fake goods move from the screen to reality.
    In some cases, 7-Eleven has contracted with manufacturers of similar products to make their Kwik-E-Mart counterparts. Malt-O-Meal, the Northfield, Minn., cereal maker, will conjure up a recipe for KrustyO's, for example. In others, existing products will simply be renamed. One flavor of 7-Eleven's own Slurpee will be sold as "WooHoo! Blue Vanilla" Squishee for the month.
    Other recent examples of reverse product placement include Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, which spun out of the Harry Potter books and movies, and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurants, which opened after the movie "Forrest Gump." 7-Eleven has done other movie-themed promotions, including one this spring for the latest Spiderman installment.
    After Fox pitched a 7-Eleven tie-in last year, representatives from the studio, the stores, and Gracie Films -- including Simpsons creator Matt Groening and executive producer James L. Brooks, met in Los Angeles to kick around ideas. Brooks added one -- holding a contest to let one fan be drawn into a future episode of the TV show.
    7-Eleven executives loved the idea. They had surveys showing a strong overlap between their customers and fans of the show -- both tend to be young and male. It sounded like cash registers ringing.
    "They've been looking at Squishees and KrustyO's and Buzz Cola for years and have never been able to put their hands on it," said Merkel, the advertising executive.
    But they won't find Duff beer, the brand chugged by Homer Simpson. The movie will be rated PG-13, and selling a Simpson-themed beer "didn't seem to fit," said Rita Bargerhuff, a 7-Eleven marketing executive. "That was a tough call, but we want to make sure it's considered good, responsible fun."
    Bargerhuff predicted extra sales to Simpsons fans will more than offset the cost of the promotion and create new customers for the chain. She also said the chain is prepared for crowds and will have extra security and clerks at the Kwik-E-Marts.
    The promotion, however, is not risk-free. The proprietor of Kwik-E-Mart is a man named Apu who speaks in a heavy Indian accent. He is based on a manager Groening encountered while shopping at a 7-Eleven in Los Angeles nearly 20 years ago and plays to stereotypes about convenience-store operators and Asian immigrants.
    Many of 7-Eleven's franchisees are Indian, company officials say, although they say they don't track exact numbers. Bargerhuff said they were "overwhelmingly positive" after hearing of the Kwik-E-Mart idea, but "it was not a 100 percent endorsement."
    "There was definitely a concern of offending people," she said. "But they seemed to understand that 'The Simpsons' makes fun of everybody. The vast majority saw this as a great opportunity."
    That's the case for Kumar Assandas, a 28-year-old franchisee whose parents immigrated from India. His store in suburban Las Vegas is one of the temporary Kwik-E-Marts.
    "I know it's a stereotype, but it doesn't bother me. Everybody knows it's a joke," Assandas said. "I'm a big 'Simpsons' fan myself, and maybe subconsciously it even inspired me to become a 7-Eleven owner."

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  3. #2
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Olathe, KS

    Re: When TV and Reality Meet ...

    Will the cashiers spout "Thank you! Come again!" when you leave?
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  4. #3
    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Asheville, NC or thereabouts

    Re: When TV and Reality Meet ...

    Mmmm, chutney-flavored Squishees...<drool>
    "I can make all the stadiums rock."
    -Air Supply

  5. #4
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    San Antonio

    Re: When TV and Reality Meet ...

    This thread is no good without pictures.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Re: When TV and Reality Meet ...

    Who needs the Quik E Mart

    Apu: I Doooooooooooooo.......
    L.A. manager Grady Little had a bad feeling about Wednesday's game when he saw Harang and pitching coach Dick Pole walking in after Harang's warmup.

    "I saw two big men," Little said. "Either could have shut us out tonight."

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