7-Eleven Wedding Chapel – open to all
As the main sponsor of Stockholm Pride 2014, 7-Eleven wanted to raise awareness of and participate in the debate on everyone’s equal right to love freely. The solution was the 7-Eleven Wedding Chapel, where anyone, whatever their sexuality, could openly declare their love to the world. 7-Eleven selected a store and transformed it into a wedding chapel for ceremonies officiated by Mona Sahlin, imam Ludovic Mohamed Zahed, Ann-Christine Roxberg and Lars Gårdfeldt, among others.
As the main sponsor of Stockholm Pride, 7-Eleven wanted to show that the company takes a stand in the fight for equality and doesn’t differentiate between people based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith, or any belief or preference. When discrimination and prejudice can still pose a problem in Swedish society and around the world, 7-Eleven wanted to stand up and be counted.
We needed to find something that really engaged people and showed 7-Eleven’s genuine commitment to and stance on issues concerning equality and the right to love. We also had to find something that caught the imagination of the media and general public across Sweden.
One of our key insights was that many companies hold unusual and extraordinary activities during Stockholm Pride. If we were going to achieve our targets, we had to pull off something that had never been done before.
The solution was the 7-Eleven Wedding Chapel, where visitors could declare their love by marriage or a commitment ceremony. The store at Humlegårdsgatan 11 in Stockholm was completely transformed and a number of wedding officials were drafted in to help, including Mona Sahlin, the controversial imam Ludovic Mohamed Zahed from South Africa, Ann-Christine Roxberg – the male priest who became a woman, and Lars Gårdfeldt – a priest and gay activist. The chapel was decorated to create a suitably romantic atmosphere and to make an impact on passers-by.
We developed an overall concept for the campaign that included everything from the visual identity in store to the campaign website, advertising and visual material. The aim was to create a uniform image across all the channels through which the 7-Eleven Wedding Chapel concept was communicated.
Ahead of the launch and coinciding with the website going live, the various wedding officials recorded videos encouraging other loved-up couples to register their interest in getting married on the project’s campaign site. These videos were promoted via 7-Eleven’s own channels and Stockholm Pride’s social channels to build up anticipation ahead of the event.
When inequality is still common around the world, it could be seen as controversial to organise an event of this kind. Despite, or perhaps because of this, the Wedding Chapel was a success in every possible way. Not only were the set targets exceeded by a wide margin, 7-Eleven also helped make romantic history when imam Ludovic Mohamed Zahed conducted the world’s first official marriage of two lesbian Muslim women. Together, we managed to tear down the walls of prejudice and further strengthen 7-Eleven’s position as Sweden’s favourite convenience store – a store open to everyone.
During the week of Pride 2014, sales in Stockholm’s city centre stores rose by 14.8% (target: 10% increase on previous year). Gross profit was 14.9% higher than in the same week of the previous year (target: same gross profit as previous year) and the stores saw a healthy 12.1% more visits compared with Pride 2013 (target: 5% increase on previous year).
The Wedding Chapel resulted in a media reach of 35,522,246 people, almost 12 times the target of 3,000,000 people, with a PR value of SEK 12,658,697, which is more than twice the target of SEK 5,000,000. The campaign attracted attention both nationally and internationally. Daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter carried a full page spread. There were items in SVT’s news broadcasts and in TV4’s breakfast show Nyhetsmorgon, plus radio coverage in Morgonpasset on P3, as well as various mentions in the tabloid newspapers Aftonbladet and Expressen. Also, reporters from China’s official news agency XINHUA, Radio France and Germany’s Der Spiegel covered events at the chapel.