Subway Dominates Sunday Night TV

Subway's FertmanSeems like Subway is everywhere these days, but the chain is taking this to new levels this Sunday.

That evening, one of the sandwich chain's executives will be starring on CBS's "Undercover Boss," while over on NBC, Subway will be running a 30-second kick-off show and a commercial during "Sunday Night Football."

And just for good measure, on Fox, Michael Strahan (who hosts the "Subway Post Game Show" following Fox Sports football coverage) will be featured in three placements promoting Subway products between the animated lineup of "The Simpsons," "The Cleveland Show," "Family Guy" and "American Dad." (Did we mention the 15-second spot during "The Cleveland Show"?)

For Subway, it might be ideal if the "Undercover Boss" episode were not up against the game (and a Giants vs. Eagles match that's likely to draw even higher-than-normal viewership, to boot). "From an audience standpoint, it's a very competitive time slot, so it will be interesting to see how the ["Undercover Boss"] ratings turn out," Tony Pace, SVP and CMO of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, tells Marketing Daily.



On the other hand, CBS will be promoting "Undercover Boss" during its own football game coverage earlier in the day -- and being on three different networks simultaneously in prime time would probably sound like a "good problem" to most brands.

The "Undercover Boss" episode will feature Subway chief development officer Don Fertman (using the name/identity "John Wilson") interacting, as an employee, with real store managers and other staff.

For the show, Fertman, a 29-year veteran of the chain credited by Subway with being "pivotal" in its growth, performed standard jobs such as baking bread, slicing vegetables and serving customers, while also observing specifics like how the chain's new breakfast menu is working on the front lines. His experience yielded "terrific best practices" that will be shared throughout the organization, Fertman reported in the chain's announcement of the upcoming "UB" episode.

From a marketing standpoint, having Fertman's experience featured on "UB" represents a valuable opportunity to reach consumers and franchisees with a broader branding message, as opposed to the generally product-specific messages conveyed in Subway's commercials and media integration efforts, says Pace.

In addition to PR/media outreach, Subway is promoting the "UB" episode through advertising (such as its standing front-page "color bar" and other space in USA Today), radio, and social media including Facebook -- efforts feasible within the context of short notice of CBS's decision on the specific air date, says Pace.

Subway's extensive media presence includes ample sports event exposure (the "Subway Post Game Show," for example) -- which, of course, meshes with the chain's multimedia "Famous Fans" campaign featuring athletes ranging from Olympics swimming medalist Michael Phelps to NASCAR driver Carl Edwards.

Recently, Subway also has been teaming longtime weight-loss/healthy living spokesperson Jared Fogle with the high-profile athletes. Leading up to Fogle's ING NYC Marathon run (which generated huge exposure for the brand, Pace confirms), he was shown training with marathon champ Meb Keflezighi, and interviewed on Strahan's post-game show.

The brand also employs product placements on talk shows (including Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon), has an ongoing advertising/placement deal with NBC's "Chuck," and increased its presence on "Biggest Loser" by sponsoring a contestant during the latest season.

1 comment about "Subway Dominates Sunday Night TV ".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ehsaanullah Zahid from My Akrasia, June 9, 2014 at 5:31 a.m.

    It's ironic how much money is spent annually by subway on advertising and this recent effort by Don Fertman to promote Subways image. I say ironic because here in Pakistan, we are being served everything from Caterpillars, Flies to Cockroaches in our Subs. The outlets have pathetic hygiene conditions with servers picking their nose in front of customers, clipping their nails on counters and cockroaches coming out of their kitchens if it wasnt enough to make you throw up in your mouth already.

    There are no checks and balances because the Development Agents are the very people who own majority of the franchises. Convenient, because you cant get your complaint heard or an impartial resolution.

    Customers come down with food borne illnesses such as food poisoning, hepatitis, typhoid. I loved Subway, I still do. But I'm a little repulsed now. I had been eating for 3 months straight at Subway store id 39526. There were flies and the insect killers didnt work. I politely filled out a suggestion card and also asked the server to tell the owner to do something about the insect killer.

    Next visit, nothing had happened. So I decided to take snaps of the dead and alive flies on the premises and email them to him. As I did so, a server on the counter started clipping his nails since there were no customers to serve at the time. A few days earlier, a server had picked his nose oblivious to on looking customers. I reprimanded him, he apologized and I let it slide thinking it was a one off incident. Keep in mind, we are brain washed by the clever advertising into thinking regardless of geographical location. Subway would maintain its standards of hygiene at least. Not so.

    As I was done finishing the email, a large cockroach came out of the kitchen making me want to throw up. I stopped going to Subway after that but it was already too late. I came down with Hepatitis A and was in the hospital for 2 weeks of what seemed like a near death experience.

    2 months passed and the owner still didnt reply. I called Subway HQ and threatened a lawsuit. I was given nothing but lip service by their attorney "We will look into this but can't promise you a time frame for a resolution as we have never dealt with such a situation before'. Add insult to injury why dont you? The owner emailed me saying the workforce was to blame, and took no responsibility for the incident.

    These are the kind of people you want representing Subway Don Fertman? The kind that play with peoples lives and safety? Why? Because its good for profits and business? Have you any idea how many customers you lose when this happens? I'm looking at a relapse of the Hepatitis A and Subway International wants to do nothing about it because business is good so far in this part of the World.

Next story loading loading..