Subway’s reintroduction to the public doesn’t include any company backstory like its previous campaign. It doesn’t mention five dollar footlongs or reference vegetables. And of course, longtime spokesperson Jared Fogle is nowhere to be seen.
Instead, the minute-long anthem spot debuting today during the Olympics focuses on variety, the so-called spice of life. A series of fast-paced vignettes positions Subway as all things to all people—especially those young in both body and mind.
“We feel like we’ve lost an emotional connection to our consumers,” said Chris Carroll, Subway’s chief advertising officer. “The fundamental pillars of our brand are health, value and indulgence. That’s never changed, it’s what we’ve done for 50 years. What we need to do is tell that story [better].”
Carroll said the new campaign “does what the brand really needs.”
“We set out to make the anti-Subway ad,” said mcgarrybowen executive creative director Craig Cimmino. His agency is part of The Franchise at Dentsu Aegis Network, which won Subway’s consolidated ad business last December (the group also includes Carat and DentsuBos).
Regarding the brief, Cimmino said, “[Subway CMO] Joe Tripodi told us, ‘We don’t stand for anything. We don’t have a heart.’ As a creative that’s a great challenge.”
Carroll said he asked agencies competing in its review last year to develop “an epic idea … something we can rally behind.”
The Dentsu team rose to the challenge, creating a patchwork of clips touching on a range of lifestyles from outdoor activities and extreme sports to modern animation, millennial parenting and more. This all feeds into Subway’s message: no matter what your taste, we’ve got something for you. In a 2012 press release, the chain boasted of 37 million potential sandwich variations based on ingredients available at all of its locations around the world.