December 29, 2015 2 Comments
Subway restaurants. As one of the world’s biggest restaurant chains, they’re everywhere. And for a lot of people, they’re simply “there.” I can’t think of anyone who really loves Subway. And I also can’t think of anyone who absolutely refuses to go there. It’s about as bland and inoffensive as it gets. The kind of place you might go because it seems like the least bad option in a given area. I live in New York City, and Subway feels irrelevant with great sandwich places everywhere. Probably the most interesting thing about Subway to me is that they all smell exactly the same, and I can tell the aroma from like a block away, before I even see the Subway.
Subway commentary aside, it’s been a rough year for the chain. As you probably know, the biggest crisis for the chain was that longtime pitchman Jared went from being their somewhat creepy, generic mascot to being a gross, child-diddling monster. So it’s understandable that Subway would want to get a…fresh start on its image. The catchy $5 Footlong jingle is a thing of the past (although that’s largely because $5 Footlongs don’t really exist anymore). No more athlete celebrity endorsements either (though with Ryan Howard and Robert Griffin III still being featured, that’s probably a good thing). Nope, it’s a new angle in this campaign from Subway’s new agency BBDO.
The opening spot “Founders” tells the story of Subway’s 1965 opening by creators Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck. The recently deceased DeLuca is played by his son, Jonathan, which is a nice touch. It positions Subway as a revelation in an age of TV dinners and fast food. Sandwich shops were a thing of course, but a chain sandwich shops weren’t big yet. The carhop crashing into the window and dropping the food made me chuckle a little bit. Overall, the spot is fine, though the ending “fresh” line is pretty cringeworthy. But much like Subway itself, I find it to be pretty bland and inoffensive. A companion spot, featuring an Subway accountant being reprimanded by HR for eating all the turkey for the Rhode Island market is pretty funny.