• Anna Paula Goncalves

Do You.

Subway x mcgarrybowen


Here's one way to live boldly:


Subway goes bold with their rebranding “Make It What You Want” campaign to re-establish the connection with their customer base.



This is why I'm a fan:


I don't typically write about brands and their attempts at rebranding their perceived image. It could also be that that's not something we see every week. When it's seen though, it's safe to say that that brand and it's creative team will either get it 100% right or get it 100% wrong because there's no "it-kind-of-worked" when it comes to rebranding. This week, after coming across Subway's new campaign -- that very cleverly debuted during the Winter Olympics considering the messaging and some of the images you see -- it was a no-brainer as it became a top favorite ad this week for achieving exactly what they set out to achieve.


The main reason for why Subway nailed it? Because of how different, yet familiar it is. I'll explain...


Brands will either do a complete brand overhaul, tweak certain aspects of their branding for whatever the reason OR they will simply tell their stories differently, while holding true to who they have always been. Basically, Subway is evolving but remaining the same. And this ad very much displayed that.


In past times, Subway has stuck to the same messaging. (And they have been known to tell their story through their longtime spokesperson Jared Fogle.) This time around, we don't see Jared; we see people living life to the fullest, and action words popping up that inspire. What they did this time around was "shake things up" by telling their story with a sense of excitement and truth and sticking to familiarity which is, what people already know: Subway = Variety. ("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".) It reminded me of when I used to eat Subway pretty regularly while living the non-stop lifestyle in NYC -- I remember doing it because of the variety to match whatever my mood was at that given time.


Wouldn't you agree that "variety" makes life so much more exciting? The difference with this campaign is that they are associating variety with the variety of people that exists in the world. It's no longer the place you should associate with "healthy eating to lose weight" only (i.e. Jared Fogle). What I see with this ad is this: That here is a place that can serve all. That's a great message to customers, each with their unique taste and lifestyle.


Experiences and experimenting bring excitement. And isn't that what we see here? Actual content from people doing what they love and loving what they do. And quite clutch to see images of Subway sandwiches throughout, matching the words on the screen. It's people being their unique selves and creating their own fun that is now driving the messaging here. "Subway is a natural choice for you because it allows you to have your own creation.” Associating 'creating your own life' with 'creating your own sandwich' = Clever.


I'll leave you now with this quote from mcgarrybowen's Executive Creative Director, Craig Cimmin regarding the brief:


“Joe Tripodi (Subway CMO) told us, ‘We don’t stand for anything. We don’t have a heart.’ As a creative that’s a great challenge.


Absolutely is, Craig. It's the best kind of challenge. And your team delivered beautifully.


Source: Adweek

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