When Politics and Marketing Gloriously Intersect

Note: Due to high winds and unfavorable weather, I called off the Presidential Traverse. These decisions are always tough, particularly with so much physical and emotional preparation. Keeping an eye out for a window in 2013. Stay tuned!

Every Friday at HubSpot, two employees host a live-streamed Marketing Update. Notable marketing events from that week are covered, and many a beer bottle is opened.

This past week, a number of interesting stories were discussed, two of which I want to share. Both stories involve companies that put a clever marketing spin on the current political race.

JetBlue Offers Free Flight if Your Candidate Loses

If your candidate loses the presidential election this November, don’t worry, because JetBlue is there to help soften the blow. Their consolation prize? A complimentary international flight.


1006 people will win an opportunity to flee the country. Most of JetBlue’s international destinations are in the Caribbean, a fine spot to ride out a presidential term or two.

I should note that the contest tickets are roundtrip, so winners are free to return if they so choose.

Based in Queens, New York, JetBlue invites voters to enter at jetblue.com/electionprotection. At the moment, Obama is being chosen in favor of Romney at a ratio of 56% to 44%.

7-Eleven Coffee Drinkers Predict Next President

At 7-Eleven, your coffee purchase counts.

When purchasing coffee, 7-Eleven patrons in participating states are asked to choose either red or blue cups to indicate their preferred candidate. Results are captured in real time and displayed on the website, 7-Election.

What a brilliant idea. I’d imagine the infrastructure to set this up was a hefty investment, but I’m curious to what extent average coffee sales have been affected. Either way, my brand perception of 7-Eleven is much stronger than it was before.

Similar to JetBlue, at the moment, Obama is being chosen in favor of Romney at a ratio of 56% to 44%.


I love these two examples. Brands embracing a high-profile current event and weaving it into the fabric of their marketing landscape. Contrast these two clever examples with that of Pizza Hut, whose presidential debate stunt triggered enormous backlash, becoming the butt of many jokes.

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