To launch its $5 Double Cheese Cheesesteak Sub, Quiznos is using a "hybrid" approach that employs the Web and social media to encourage consumers to engage with its TV commercial.
The QSR created an online sweepstakes (at QuiznosToaster.com) that requires using "hidden clues" in the commercial to answer trivia questions and thereby qualify for the chance to win prizes.
Quiznos also posted the commercial video in the "Quiznos Toaster" profile pages on YouTube and Facebook, encouraging consumers to pause and replay it to find the clues, and is tweeting about the contest on Twitter (@QuiznosToaster). Providing an email address is part of the registration process for entering the sweeps.
The commercial's creative, from Siltanen & Partners, features two "hillbilly" men sitting outdoors in an old tub atop a log fire, with a voiceover commenting: "Ooowee! That hillbilly hot tub looks dangerous, and hot -- but not as hot as Quiznos's new Double Cheese Cheesesteak..." (An apparently earnest superimposed title at the bottom cautions viewers: "Dramatization. Do not attempt.") There are both :30 and :15 versions of the spot.
The point is to direct attention to the "hot" aspect of the new prime rib and melted cheese sub, which comes out of the oven at 150 degrees, according to Quiznos EVP communications Ellen Kramer. The sweeps grand prize, a SpaBerry hot tub (or $4,000), ties in with the theme. Ten $50 Quiznos gift subs are offered as second prizes.
"We're using social media channels to extend the reach of a traditional 30-second TV commercial and engage consumers with a challenge to hone in on the nuances of the ad," confirmed Quiznos CMO Trey Hall, in announcing the campaign.
Like other Quiznos TV ads, this one is intended to be entertaining and in line with the brand's image -- "edgy, provocative and humorous" -- while achieving the primary goal of driving consumers to try the new menu item and encourage their friends to do the same, Hall said.
"We try to take advantage as much as possible of the cult following for Quiznos commercials," adds Kramer, alluding to the popularity of the brand's "sponge monkey" spots and the talking toaster oven ads introduced earlier this year to launch Toasty Torpedoes subs.
Quiznos did a small test of the hybrid strategy during that Torpedoes launch before rolling it out for the cheesesteak sub, and the chain will be employing variations on the strategy going forward, she reports.
What's the thinking behind not including any mention of the sweeps, the Web site or Quiznos's social media presence in the commercial? After thinking about this "long and hard," marketing decided it was best, in this case, not to distract from the main "hot" message, according to Kramer.
As of Friday morning, the hot tub video had 12,250 views on Quiznos's YouTube area.