Meet Me at the 7-Eleven in YoVille

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Ah, summer. This season makes me reminisce about riding our 10-speed bikes down to 7-Eleven to load up on candy and play video games until the guy behind the counter yelled at us to leave. After all, 7-Eleven is a brand that evokes images of ice-cold Slurpee, sizzling rotating hot dogs, lottery tickets and… FarmVille?

This summer, everybody’s favorite 24-hour convenience store is partnering up with Zynga, makers of social media’s most popular games, for a unique promotional campaign. Merging the Hot Pocket crowd and the time killing gamer group, the two companies launched on June 1st. The six-week program involves virtual goods codes placed on 35 of 7-Eleven’s most popular products, including Slurpees, Big Gulps and Big Bites. The codes – about 200 million of them, according to execs – can be redeemed at the new website and used in Zynga’s hit games Mafia Wars, FarmVille and YoVille.

The female demographic that plays Farmville can snatch up codes on things like bottled water and fresh fruit (which I always forget 7-Eleven carries). The manly 18-24 guy-centric set who plays Mafia Wars, however, can expect to find codes on buffalo wings, chips and hot dogs. “SevElev,” as we used to call it back in my Ms. Pac-Man playing, Big League Chew chomping days, is planning a huge media roll-out for the Zynga promotion. Online marketing, social media and television/radio are being employed to get the word out.

Zynga thus far has chosen its corporate friends wisely. The game purveyors’ relationship with BFF Facebook got even sweeter last month when they signed an exclusive five-year deal that insures all of your pigs and mobsters won’t be going any where soon. So this partnership with 7-Eleven appears to be another well-played move by Zynga. 7-Eleven stands to profit by hopping on another gaming craze that speaks to its buyers.

I guess the only possible challenge in this promotion is getting Zynga users to log off long enough to go grab a bag of pork rinds and a Mountain Dew.

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