Sandwich chain Subway is hitting back at competitors' attempts to muscle in on the growing healthy fast-food category with the rollout of a new ad campaign and the worldwide launch of a "revolutionary concept".
The TV, outdoor and radio campaign will initially rollout in Queensland in mid-February through Brisbane agency De Pasquale, which won the Subway QLD account last November.
De Pasquale creative director, Cos Luccitti, said the strategy was pinned on reinforcing Subway's position as the original healthy and low-fat fast-food restaurant in the face of competitors such as McDonald's, Hungry Jacks, Red Rooster and KFC adding healthier options.
Subway's campaign would also be looking to fend off competition from a new generation of health conscious start-ups such as the trendy Wellbeing and Sumosalad franchises, which both focus on the non-traditional fast-food alternatives of fresh salads and sandwiches.
"The campaign will stake Subway's claim as the ‘real deal' when it comes to fresh and healthy options and combat other chains and the healthy additions to their fast food menu," Luccitti explained. "What it's saying is that when it comes to fresh, we're the real deal, we've been doing it longer—we didn't start with a fast-food menu and then decide to add healthy options, so from a credibility point of view, we've always been in the game."
The TVC mocks other traditional fast-food restaurants' attempts to promote a healthy image and shows an unkempt man wearing a t-shirt that reads ‘I'm a fast-food restaurant'. He then puts on another shirt over the top which reads, ‘Now I'm a fresh food restaurant'. As the man tries to tidy himself up to look more presentable, a voice over says: "Some of our competitors are adding new fresh options to their menus so we look at them differently…But at Subway Restaurants…when it comes to fresh, we're the real deal".
According to Subway Systems Australia/NZ marketing and profitability manager, Lincoln Patterson, the campaign is a reminder to consumers that Subway has been the catalyst in the growth of this health category.
"We are trying to reinforce our positioning that Subway has always founded itself on offering healthy options from day one and it's a position the other guys are trying to move into, which is great as it leads to growth in the entire health conscious category,"Patterson said.
The campaign airs one month before the expected launch of a new Subway concept described by Patterson as "revolutionary".
While remaining tight-lipped about the impending addition, which is still being tweaked and finalised, Patterson said the concept is "one of the biggest things Subway has done for a long time. It will be a welcomed addition for consumers. It's a unique offering and a great enhancement to what we already have…I'm extremely excited about this from a marketing and profitability point of view and it will be supported by a major ad campaign, but only once everything is ready," he added.
Subway has 750 restaurants in Australia, making it the largest food franchise chain in the country (McDonald's has 730), and making Australia the largest Subway market outside of North America and Canada.