Sabrina Sanchez
Aug 27, 2021

Subway cuts into other brands’ ads to promote menu refresh

In a clever US campaign, the brand appears to run out of time to explain everything in its own ad slot, so it also takes some time in the next ad—one by a real advertiser.

Subway cuts into other brands’ ads to promote menu refresh

Subway is cutting into other brands’ time to share its new menu additions and changes as part of its 'Eat Fresh Refresh' campaign. The chain has worked with brands such as Bob’s Discount Furniture (a furniture retailer with stores in 20 US states), The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani (a Los Angeles personal-injury attorney) and Galpin Motors (an LA car dealer) to "buy" 30 seconds of their ad time in order to “share all that’s new" from the brand.

Each of the spots, which debuted Monday (August 23) ends with the Subway narrator complaining that "there's too much new to fit in one commercial" before the ad appears to cut abruptly to the next ad spot. Then the central figure in the new ad—all three are recognisable figures in their markets—finishes the announcement. 

Viewers who call the toll-free numbers featured at the end of the spots will hear a recording from those spokespeople encouraging them to visit their local Subway restaurant or download the app for pickup and delivery.

The campaign is led by agencies Dentsu Mcgarrybowen and Carat.

When Subway unveiled its largest menu change in July, the sandwich franchise closed its restaurants early to allot time for menu and app-dashboard updates. To help announce the updates, the brand tapped on sports stars Stephen Curry, Megan Rapinoe, Tom Brady and Serena Williams. 

“The launch of the Eat Fresh Refresh in July, headlined by the largest menu change in the brand’s history, was a historic moment for Subway,” said Carrie Walsh, chief marketing officer of North America at Subway, in an email. “We had so much new coming to our US restaurants, that we created a never-ending ad campaign to share it all.”

To ensure Subway had enough time to announce all of its news, the brand approached several popular local and national advertisers to take over their ads across broadcast, streaming, social, digital and print, Walsh explained. 

Subway will also show up “in unexpected places across social media, influencer content and in media partnerships with popular television shows,” she added.

The campaign will run through the end of the year and will be measured through brand perception and sales. Subway declined to share the campaign budget. 

In October, Subway named Current Global as its global AOR. Subway previously worked with Ruder Finn. And in May, Subway restructured and expanded its communications department, adding staffers to lead four key strategic areas: corporate and employee communications, field communications, brand PR and multimedia. 


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