Daily Insights

A Big Gulp of Garments

By: Mackenzie Baker | Aug 24, 2020

Forever 21 and 7-Eleven embarked on a fashion collaboration that saw the retailer shine a spotlight on fan-favorite drinks like Slurpees and Big Gulps in pandemic-approved styles, like sweat sets and t-shirts.  

Forever 21’s new 7-Eleven line is limited edition and available only on the retailer’s app or website. Customers can stock up on blue Slurpee tees and tie-dye tops done in the store’s signature green, red, and orange logo colors, ranging in price from $15 to $35. The brands teased the new “#F21x7Eleven” partnership on July 11, a.k.a. “7-Eleven Day”, and have spent the past month building up fan excitement across social media. Now that the collection has officially launched, Forever 21 and 7-Eleven are kicking off their corresponding social media campaign on Instagram and TikTok.

On Instagram, the brands have decided to select one fan to win $100 worth of goods from the new collection. To enter the sweepstakes, a user must follow both brand pages, write a post spotting the difference between two pictures of the new collection that each brand posted on its grid, and tag two friends in the comments with the hashtag #f21sweepstakes. The social media campaign also extends to TikTok, where Forever 21 and 7-Eleven created a dance challenge with hip-hop dance influencer Natalie Bebko. The dance challenge is set to an original lyric-less song from Forever21, which fans can use to recreate and post it with the hashtag #F217ELEVENCHALLENGE. In addition to social media, Forever 21 created an AR slurpee filter on its mobile app that lets fans take a selfie with Bebko. Users are encouraged to save their selfies and post them on Instagram, tagging both 7-Eleven and Forever 21. 

Using Instagram and Tiktok, which are particularly popular with younger users, Forever 21 and 7-Eleven could connect with consumers who are more likely to shop the collection. The large-scale campaign also allows the brands to turn a product drop into a full-on social experience, which could broaden its reach and encourage more shoppers to purchase the limited-edition items. However, Forever 21’s image as a fast-fashion brand could keep some young consumers from shopping the collection, as Gen-Z shoppers continue to favor more  sustainable and consciously transparent brands according to a Gartner report on the topic. As 7-Eleven has racked up a loyal following of young consumers, its part in the collection could help drive traffic to the retail site despite the shift in shopping preferences. Forever 21 has also become known for its fast food and candy collaborations as well, having released collections with Hershey’s and Taco Bell in the past year. The partnership does, however, mark 7-Eleven’s first large-scale retail debut, though the brand was supposed to launch a product line with Nike earlier this year that ultimately fell through.  

Branded merchandise has been a rising trend in the past year as labels look to sew closer ties with loyal consumers while increasing their promotional efforts. By working together, Forever 21 and 7-Eleven could mutually compliment each other and mesh their audiences in a way that  benefits each brand’s sales during the pandemic.