IPA Effectiveness Awards 2007: Bronze Awards - Subway Stores

Title: Subway on a roll
Client: Subway/Doctors Associates Inc
Agencies: Frame Agency, MediaCom Scotland
Author: Gillian McGhee, Frame Agency
Contributing authors: Debbie Kiely, MediaCom Scotland; Nikki Gilmour,
MediaCom Scotland; Merry Baskin, Baskin Shark
Media used: TV, radio, sales promotion, PR

In a nutshell: The Subway roll was rebranded, repositioned and relaunched as the "Sub" and successfully trialled regionally, to produce a 30 per cent ROMI, nationally, and then globally.

Summary: Subway is a US sandwich chain that sells "Subs". This paper outlines how an existing promotional offer was transformed into a successful brand-building promotion with a fully integrated marketing campaign. The actual product, the submarine shaped roll, didn't change, but it was repositioned, rebranded as a "sub" and relaunched. The regional trial became a successful national campaign that went on to be a global proposition. In the first regional test, an investment of £400,000 over 11 weeks yielded an uplift of same-store sales of 12 per cent year on year and 12 per cent ROMI. A year later, the test region return increased to 30 per cent.

Judge's comment: This was a good case study showing how a strong marketing idea can be rolled out worldwide, with transformational results. It was also an interesting example of creativity being applied to a general business problem. The paper demonstrated strong sales increases in the test regions where it advertised, with good returns from the campaign. Operating within a franchise model it was also good to see feedback from the trade and a detailed analysis of all elements of the marketing mix to isolate the advertising effect.

Chris MacLeod head of group marcomms, Transport for London.