Subway Says It Was Fresh Before It Was Fresh To Be Fresh

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.

That Stupid Nissan Rogue Commercial With The Racing Couple Who Hates Cooking

I’m sure some more sensitive types would say that this ad encourages speeding and breaking traffic laws in order to win a silly race (despite the fine print telling us not to be like this couple). The last one home has to cook! And of course they tie, so they just order in. The use of Edwin Starr’s “War”, a classic Vietnam-era protest song, is a curious (and pretty terrible) choice of music. I’m not offended by this ad, but it’s mostly just stupid. In case you’re wondering, the wife is played by Alexis Krause, and the husband is Jeremy Glazer.

Geico: Moms Call At The Worst Time

I just talked on the phone with my mom. She doesn’t usually call at inopportune times, which is fortunate. But this James Bond-esque spy isn’t so lucky. His mom calls at the worst time. And no, he’s not at a Zumba class. The mom is played by Cindy Drummond, and the spy is Marsh Mokhtari.


Australia’s Stoner Sloth: Not The Most Effective Anti-Drug Ad

Does it seem like a lot of anti-drug ads are somewhat out of touch with actually keeping young people away from drugs? Does it seem like a lot of them are ridiculous and mockable? Enter the Stoner Sloth from Australia. Experts are not impressed.


This Johnnie Walker Spec Ad Is Spectacular

Big hat tip to AdFreak for this great one. It was directed by Daniel Titz and Dorian Lebherz, who are both students at Germany’s Film Academy of Baden-Württemberg. Their Johnnie Walker spec spot “Dear Brother” follows two brothers traversing the wild locale of Scotland’s Isle of Skye, their childhood home. The melancholy, foggy setting reminds me of another great whiskey spot for Tullamore Dew. A wistful voiceover speaks of “being free” and towards the end that notion of freedom takes on a new meaning. The brothers are played by Robin Guiver and Matthew Lewis-Carter. Cinematography, copy, and music…all simply fantastic. Methinks these guys will go far.

Tuesday Throwback: Nike Honors Ben Wilson

Last night I watched Benji, a documentary about the short life and shocking murder of Chicago high school basketball phenom Ben Wilson. In researching after I watched, I discovered this Nike ad featuring Wilson’s story that aired during the 1997 NBA playoffs. Excellent work.

ExxonMobil Turns On Lights Across America

ExxonMobil is not a popular corporation. For many, Exxon is synonymous with environmental degradation. So it shouldn’t be surprising that this ad is on YouTube with disabled comments and no like/dislike option. But I don’t know…I think it’s a pretty nice commercial with some quality America scenery. And it’s true, we really do take for granted the complexities that go into a seemingly simple act like turning on a light. FYI, the lighthouse in the beginning is Maine’s Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.


Wendy’s Has A Ridiculous Football Commercial Starring Terrell Owens And Vince Young

I’m not really sure what’s going on with this Wendy’s ad, or why Terrell Owens and Vince Young are in it (perhaps they need the paychecks), but it’s intentionally silly and quite amusing. Owens AKA “Gouda” has an especially memorable line with the impassioned “You’re wrong dad! Cheeses can step up!” It all culminates with Young AKA “Gruyere” throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to Gouda. The Gouda Bacon Cheeseburger and Bacon Fondue Fries look pretty tasty too.


A Morbidly Sweet Christmas Commercial From Germany

This spot from German supermarket chain Edeka has become wildly popular, racking up more than 27 million views (!) in less than a week. The ad starts with an elderly man hearing from his family that they won’t be able to make it for Christmas. They’re too busy with their own lives around the world. We see him dejectedly eating Christmas dinner alone. But as Jill Taylor once learned, it’s never a good idea to reject seeing an elderly parent. He dies, and the family members receive the news. His death brings them together…but then everyone is in for a big shock when they visit his house. Personally, I’d think the family would be more angry when they found out he faked his own death so they’d come together, but hey, everyone reacts differently. It’s kinda dark and twisted, but ultimately quite sweet. The song is “Dad” by Supreme Music featuring Neele Ternes.

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