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Asher Helps SUBWAY® Celebrate “Life’s Important Days”

The Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) category–especially legacy brands–had been experiencing soft sales for several years. Asher client SUBWAY® restaurants, for example, had suffered from four years of declining sales and traffic. Competitors were luring away customers and stealing market share. They were encroaching from every angle, including convenience stores and grocery stores. SUBWAY® was at a critical juncture.

The executive team at SUBWAY® identified a plan to launch an Every Day Value platform to lure back lapsed customers and increase frequency of existing customers. It was a $3.50 Sub of the Day (SOTD).

Millennials were the target audience—and Asher knows Millennials. Our team had studied this demographic long before it became a trendy target. We understood their buying power, knew their passion points and how they consumed media. They demand an emotional connection to get their attention, whether it’s humor or heartwarming. Their idea of value wasn’t necessarily a price point, but what they get for the money.

The winning concept we developed was entitled “Important Days.” The $3.50 price point doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, so we played up the variety of different subs offered every day of the week. We tapped into a little playful humor complemented by life’s milestone events – milestones that almost everyone can relate to, particularly Millennials.

“Important Days” featured a couple on their first date, after their marriage, and then after the birth of their first child. Every important day in their life was tied to a Sub of the Day. For example, their daughter was born on Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Day, and therefore they named her Terri.

While the price point was the primary focal point, we needed to engage the consumer and have a brief emotional connection. We developed creative for a 360-degree marketing campaign, reaching consumers digitally, traditionally, and socially.

Anecdotally, we heard comments from franchisees that it was one of the best spots they had seen on a national level in years. The kudos were great, but the results were even better.

Prior to our campaign launch, the brand had been trending -2.9% in sales and -4.7% in traffic. Since the “Important Days” launch, the brand has seen a +1.5% lift in sales and +2.6% in traffic. The lineup for the $3.50 SOTD products grew from 7.9% product mix to 15.2% product mix.

Market research firm Millward Brown measured the consumer reactions to the ad and it outperformed industry standards in being unique and engaging.  For a national SUBWAY® campaign, the average Enjoyment rating is 65% of consumers saying they either liked or loved the creative. Our “Important Days” spot generated a 69% Enjoyment rating, 4% higher marks than the brand’s average.

So, while Subway entrusting us with a national assignment marked an “important day” for Asher, what makes us most satisfied is all the “important days” our client has enjoyed because of the spot. It’s all about delivering results—even when faced with the greatest challenges.

Subway “Important Days” :30 TV from Asher Agency on Vimeo.

More of our thoughts

As we bid farewell to 2023, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the incredible journey we've had as an agency this year.