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Subway – Bites (2020)

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In this cross-platform mobile and digital campaign targeted at the 16-24 age group, Subway decided to go short, sweet and a little bit trippy. It’s all about ‘Bites’ — their new mini sandwiches. It’s certainly quirky, but could it have been funny?


Watching these mini ads in quick succession is a bit like being slapped in the face with the sickly sweet Subway signature scent.

The brand message is ostentatiously shoved in our face in a way that’s, in and of itself, a bit funny — and the overall effect is somewhat hypnotic (although we preferred Marmite’s approach). It’s catchy, for sure.

Several of the ads satirise common advertising tropes and pop culture references, with the new sandwich ‘badly photoshopped’ in. It’s a genre of visual joke we generally enjoy, but we really wish this comedy had more filling.

For example, we love the ‘Bitey McBiteface’ ship that drifts into shot in one of the ads. But where are these text-based background gags in the others?

Come on, Subway! We’re sure you’ve got more ‘Bite’ puns up your sleeves. How about “Rule 1 – Talk about Bite Club” as a strap line over the boxer ad? Or a speech bubble pointing out the ‘Great Bite Shark’?

While we’d like more jokes (arguably there are only couple spread across the whole campaign), we’re intrigued by the approach — it sticks in your head, which is the primary objective for this type of repeat exposure campaign.

While they haven’t pulled off a truly funny ad, Subway has definitely put their best footlong forward (we’re not sorry).

Click here to check out the campaign for yourself.

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