How Subway bludgeoned us into submission.

18 Feb

There’s no escaping it.


Five dollar.

Five dollar footlong….

Not only has Subway hit a marketing home run with their irresistibly stupid and cheap TV spots, but they’ve also hit a nerve with the public.

Take a simple hand gesture to signify the cost, add a second one with both hands to symbolize the size, throw in an infuriatingly catchy jingle and then give it endless media play: sales go through the roof. Spoofs abound.

Old Spice did it in 2010, now it’s those damn Subway spots. Who’da thunk? According to Tony Pace, who’s their Chief Marketing guy, the spots were created because the 6 inch subs were way outselling the 12 inchers.

Not any more.

The most hilarious spoof I’ve come across is this YouTube video called The Curse in which the song literally tortures the poor guy. Very funny.

Ok, so try not to repeat after me:



6 Responses to “How Subway bludgeoned us into submission.”

  1. Amy February 18, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Ugh. I will be so happy when this month is over so I won’t have to year “Februany” ever again.

  2. dougbrowncreative February 18, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Stop tapping your toes and snapping your fingers there Amy…

  3. andmerson February 18, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    Now i’m hungry and in the mood to dance. And to think i woke up today without it ringing through my head…guess there is always hope for tomorrow

    I’ll bow down to Subway when this remix makes it into the clubs

  4. Brad February 18, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    I have to admit I may also have “The Curse”.
    On a related note, there is a Sun Life Financial commercial where the actors break into a song about retirement that always gets me as well but I can’t find it online anywhere. Anyone else seen it?

  5. Anonymous February 18, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Interesting to see some “old school” tactics still ringing true, i.e. mass TV, coupled with a memorable/insipid jingle = conversions. Obviously not necessarily the whole story, but good to know that the mind’s ability to recall a memorable tune (no matter how annoying it may be that you can’t get it out of your head) is still a ‘staple’ to which some advertisers can make hay.

    Side bar: note the Google ad at the end of your post for cheap eats from Groupon today — coincidence of fate…?

  6. dougbrowncreative February 18, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    > Hey Andrea, that’s definitely going to be the new Copeland groove. Love the Autotune processing of the voice. Pass me that footlooooong!

    > Brad, it’s dangerous for you to admit you have The Footlong Curse a few days before you come to intern with us. The girls have taken note…

    > Anonymous, the success story here is as much about ubiquity as it is about the ingratiating spots. There are times when you get ten of them in an hour. They are spending some serious cash here – all the cash they saved on production! The Google ad is just a happy coincidence. Shame we can’t control those.

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