Subway has taken a page out of Burger King's playbook by encouraging consumers to order from anywhere, be it through restaurants, mamak joints or home grown businesses. In a Facebook post done in collaboration with VaynerMedia Asia Pacific, Subway Malaysia said: "This needs to be said. Order fast food quicker through an app, light a candle and bring fine-dining home, explore your options with the nasi padang stall downstairs, debate between Indian or Chinese rojak, and then quench your thirst with a soya cincau - the choice has always been yours." The post was replicated for its Singapore's Facebook account as well.
The brand added that it has felt the pinch during these challenging times and others definitely more so than Subway. "Some restaurants have thousands of staff, some have barely two, but all of us rely on the chance we might get to delight you with your favourite meals now more than ever," it said.
Subway added in the post that it wants consumers to keep showing their support by treating themselves to tasty meals more frequently, whether they are from restaurants, mamak joints or home grown businesses. "And if you crave a fresh sub on any day, Subway is never too far away," it said.
Earlier this week, Burger King showed its support to the food service industry in France and the UK by encouraging consumers to order from KFC, Domino's Pizza, Subway, Sushi Shop, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Five Guys. This came after both countries went into lockdown again as a result of the rise in COVID-19 cases. Burger King said: "If you want to help, keep treating yourself to tasty through home delivery, takeaway or drive through. Getting a Whopper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is also not such a bad thing."
Separately, Subway Malaysia also responded to a post it was accidentally tagged in by a Malaysian video game creator who goes by the name of Norreenjelah on Facebook. Norreen posted a video on Facebook ranting about the difference between venti and grande. While tagging Starbucks, she also accidentally tagged Subway and the team got into action by using the size of its bread to explain the difference between grande and venti.
"At Subway, we are really simple. six inches means grande and footlong means venti. No need to worry about the Italian name. Eating with our Italian bread is enough," Subway said.
In a statement to A+M, Subway's marketing director - Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Macau, Hang Ee Laine, said it aims to create light-hearted content to lighten up the mood of its fans in this challenging situation and thought the selected trending topics were the right piece for the team to work on.
"Regarding the post about order from everywhere, we thought it is a good touch to encourage consumers to support everyone and not just quick service restaurants. We need to help one another especially the local and small businesses. As for the grande and venti post, it just so happened that the girl tagged us. Hence, we thought it would be a good avenue for us to explain the terms in Subway's world," Hang added.
Meanwhile, VaynerMedia Asia Pacific's ECD VJ Anand said its main aim is to get Subway to be always on by jumping on issues even if they have yet to become a massive trend. "We want Subway to jump on it earlier and embed a bit of the brand offering into the post, instead of blindly jumping in for the sake of doing so," he explained.
Besides trendjacking, Subway also dared to get creative with its marketing. Last month, it rolled out an unusual, low-budget-looking ad to promote its new Meat Stack sub and mint chocolate chip cookie. The 15-second long ad starts off with a warning that says "advertisement made by intern on budget". It then showed the process of creating the ad with a platform that looks similar to Microsoft PowerPoint, while using basic creative tools. It also added that Subway did not pay for a copywriter, along with a hashtag #LessMarketing4MoreMeat.
Anand told A+M previously that the campaign was inspired by the real problem in the advertising industry, where budgets have been cut for brands and agencies all year round. He added that the Subway Meat Stack has a lot of value and meat, and thought it would be an interesting angle to ride on: that Subway had put so much meat in the sub that they ran out of marketing budget.
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