The Quiznos commercials we have seen in the last decade marketed Quiznos subs in an interesting (and perhaps to some, puzzling and disturbing) way. A bowler hat-wearing animal that appears to have the body of a hamster and the legs of a shrimp sings in a scratchy, off-key voice about how much he loves Quiznos subs because they’re so warm and tasty. Just in case you can’t understand the screechy rodent, speech bubbles from his mouth provide an explanation. A similar-looking animal wearing a pirate hat plays guitar in the background. While this commercial is certainly odd, it was successful in that it really got people talking. Trey Hall, the chief marketing officer for Quiznos, explained that Quiznos felt their marketing needed to be dramatic with the airtime they bought because they had a small ad budget. They were also seeking to gain awareness among the public, which shock value can be successful at doing.
The commercial’s weakness is that the shock of creepy singing animals could have potentially made viewers associate the idea of Quiznos with discomfort and unpleasant thoughts. While many viewers pondered how a singing rat-gerbil could possibly make them want a sandwich, some went so far as to say that the presence of the creature in a commercial suggested that Quiznos is rodent-infested and unclean. I personally avoided Quiznos for years after this marketing campaign – not for any reason that I could have articulated at the time, I just felt unsure about the place. It wasn’t until a friend suggested Quiznos that I ever ventured inside one. When I reminded her of the weird mutated marmoset commercial, she looked confused and said, “Oh yeah I remember that commercial…that was for Quiznos?”
Overall, the marketing strategy seems to have paid off. The company has seen rapid growth through franchises and has received numerous awards for their success. Their early ads were filled with shock value, from the bizarre rodents to a man suckling on a wolf. They then progressed to controversial ads that took on sandwich-giant Subway and suggested that “real women need meat.” This kept people talking and kept their curiosity up until Quiznos became a household name, at which point they dropped the shock value and started making more down-to-earth commercials like this one, which focuses on the value of Quiznos subs in our economy. Their marketing strategy, though criticized at times, has drawn the appropriate type and amount of attention to Quiznos throughout the company’s history.
This is considered an effective marketing – offline marketing or traditional marketing method. Although it may have been too risky to take a shot of at first, it was then followed by a lot of people talking and remembering about it. This can be applied to online marketing campaigns too. Some controversial articles tend to gain a lot of traffic and good value in return. It’s a mixture of being creative, being honest, being annoying (perhaps) and being strategic when you decide to make a scene in the internet world.