Subway Serves Up Original Content

Subway knows something about product placement, but don't tell that to Caitlin Burke, Senior Marketing Manager of Media and Branded Entertainment at the massive QSR. "We shun the word 'product placement,'" Burke told OMMA Video attendees on Tuesday afternoon -- suggesting that the term connotes something inauthentic or inorganic. "We want to be an invited guest," Burke said of the Subway brand. Setting a new bar for brands and their content creating aspirations, Subway recently invited itself to star in its own scripted comedy series, "The 4 to 9ers." Written, directed and produced by "Two and a Half Men" director Jamie Widdoes and writer Tim O'Donnell ("Growing Pains," "Dave's World"), the show has succeeded on every conceivable level as a short-form comedy series on Hulu. Produced in conjunction with Los Angeles-based Content & Co., the original has now led to a sequel, "The 4 to 9ers Reloaded," while the series is nearing 10 million views on Hulu, YouTube, and other major distribution hubs. Regarding the content strategy, Burke said it's all about "taking calculated risks." Translation? Trying to entertain audiences, while protecting the integrity of the Subway brand, she explained. 

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