How Small Businesses Successfully Leveraged Election Marketing for Foot Traffic

by Swipely Team on November, 06 2012 in Operations


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It's Election Day here in the United States, and while most people try to separate politics from their businesses and friendships, there were quite a few savvy business owners who embraced it instead.

With voters as opinionated as ever this year, some businesses decided to create a new kind of voting system that lets guests vote with their taste buds. If you ever needed inspiration for a creative promotion, look to these businesses for guidance!

The ice-cream lickers of Udder Delights in Mesa, Arizona predicted the outcome between Obama and Romney in the last presidential election through a little ice cream voting contest that they successfully re-invented for 2012. Customers of the shop ordered either Ba-Rocky Road or Mint Romney to cast their vote.

"What a creative and humorous way to promote ice cream, love it," wrote one fan on their Facebook page.

The 7-Eleven convenience store chain, a popular spot for morning (or midnight) coffee took to the cups for their own internal polls. Coffee-drinkers were given Romney and Obama cups to choose from.

Not only did customers walk around marketing for 7-Eleven all day with their coffees, but they also wore their presidential badge at the same time. See the results.

Unfortunately for the promotion, 7-Eleven has a much wider, more critical audience than most and they got more flack than praise for not including Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. "The only true choice for change in 2012 is Gary Johnson and I have been unable to locate his cups in my local 7-11. Guess they went first," writes Ken Swanson, from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fraser's Island Gift Nook in Venice, Florida recently sent an email to their subscribers offering 20% off any item to anyone who comes in today wearing their "I voted" sticker, even if they voted early.

Fraser's customer Wendy Rose told us, "I actually saved my I voted sticker so I can swing by on Tuesday. Why not?"

UiSan Cheah, Marketing Assistant at Dave's Gourmet in San Francisco tells us that Dave's is "offering two Adjustable Hot Sauce bottles - The Barack Obama Adjustable Origin Hot Sauce and The Mitt Romney Adjustable Opinion Hot Sauce. People can buy the
bottles to vote as well as vote online on their website poll."

BGR The Burger Joint put together some presidential burgers and let their guests vote too. The Governor Mitt Romney Burger featured a burger with lobster and hollandaise (a Massachusetts thing?) and the President Barack Obama Burger included a burger topped with an all-beef hotdog, relish and peppers.

For most of the race, the Romney Burger took the lead, but one customer joked that the election was rigged, "you cant put lobster on a burger and expect it not to win! Especially down here in Miami."

Facebook Fan Mark Goldstein says, "those Chicago dogs on top of the Obama burgers are pure win. BGR: The Burger Joint for President!"

Another cute idea came from The Occidental Grill & Seafood, who baked cookies based on recipes that Ann Romney and first lady Michelle Obama submitted to Family Circle magazine, according to the Washington Post.

"The downtown restaurant is giving away one of each cookie when presenting the check to diners. (Romney’s M&M’s Cookies feature crunchy peanut butter and rolled oats, while the first lady’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies include mint-chocolate chips.) Diners then vote for their preferred cookie (which is, presumably, based on the treat and not, say, the candidate’s position on health care)."

The cookie contest landed Occidental some media promotion on NPR, MediaBistro, Esquire and other outlets.

One thing is for sure—businesses weren't shy about holding the ballot boxes this year, and their dining guests weren't shy about casting their votes for anywhere from .99 cents to $12.99. Read about more creative election ideas from big and small businesses on WTop.com and the Washington Post.

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