Subway’s Five Dollar Footlong Promise

 

Subway, Oops!

What is all the fuss about?   Subway’s famous footlong sub is actually an 11 inch long footlong sub! Did anyone really think that each and every bun that Subway bakes will end up at exactly 12 inches long?  Ever heard of shrinkage?

Ok, Subway got caught not over delivering on their promise. The pans they use to bake their footlong subs are twelve inches long and the buns can’t get any bigger than the pan, but the occasional one will not rise to the occasion and end up shorter. Not Good Subway! If you advertise a foot, your end product should be 12 inches. (My wife reading over my shoulder mumbled something about the head baker at Subway probably being a man….not sure what she was talking about.)

What I found interesting is the person that alerted the media to this potential end to civilization as we know it…an Australian! I grew up in Australia and wonder where an Australian got a ruler with inches on it? Australia has been metric since the mid 60’s, did he raid his grandfather’s tool kit, or is he just one of those people that spend their lives looking for their 15 minutes of fame?

What should the consumer be angry about? Being misled by an inch? Or the reported ( by a Subway franchisee ) 25% percent reduction in the amount of meat that Subway puts on their shorter than advertised buns. Now that is something to get angry about!

 

Why Is QSR Marketing So Bland?

Restaurant advertising, can you tell the difference.

We have all just finished the holiday period and most of us have had time to sit in front of the TV, being bombarded by ads for a host of fast food, QSR and mid scale dining choices. While watching these ads, the thing that came to mind was “when did we, as consumers, end up being content with the crap that advertisers dish up on a daily basis.

Every ad looks the same.

Get one happy family that looks like they are on uppers and stick them in a nondescript restaurant eating the same food as everyone else sells. The food arrives and huge smiles appear, little Johnny jumps up and down with glee, little Jenny’s eyes go so wide that we think she may be having a coronary and dad gives mum that knowing wink as if to say, ” Oh wow honey,  it was worth it to sell granny to the glue factory to pay for this family meal.” Yep this family definitely has it’s own meth lab!! Honestly,  have you or any of your family ever reacted to a QSR meal the way these actors do? If the answer is yes, you watch way too much TV.

It must be tough for the agencies to differentiate brands when the food is almost the same in every food franchise and each company insists on having the same architect design and build almost identical restaurants no matter what the concept. The exterior colors for most restaurants built in the last 5 years come in a range of light beige all the way through dark beige. Wow, how hard must it be for the consumer to chose!!!

I was watching a movie over the holiday and fell asleep on the couch while a QSR ad was on. When I opened my eyes the same ad was still on and I was sure that I had just dozed for a second or two until my daughter informed me that I had been snoring for at least 10 minutes and had been awakened by her left foot forcefully impacting my right shin so she could hear the rest of the movie. I joked that it was a coincidence that I had awakened to the same TV ad and was informed of my stupidity by my ever vigilant daughter, no, it was not the same ad or even the same company and ” don’t you know they all look the same!” Well, at least my suspicions were confirmed, The food industry ads suck big time!

So what are the advertisers and ad companies thinking, are they so afraid of upsetting even one person in the target market that only the blandest of ads ever get to air. Are they so afraid of political correctness that every ad has to have at least one of every ethnic group in the world featured somewhere in the ad. I am sure I saw a Mongolian yak herder in a recent Arby’s ad! Is it the fault of the financial crisis? Are we so embedded in deep discounts that the only thing that matters is getting the current deal across 15 times in 30 seconds. So, it seems they have created only one ad in the last 3 years and they just change the voice over and tags to suit the deal and advertiser.

Is it just the US.

Is this only an American phenomena? Are other countries still making good food service ads? I recently watched a McDonald’s ad from India that featured an attractive young lady showing lots of cleavage to distract a young man from his burger. A little bit of bumping and grinding was there as well. This would not be allowed in the US!!!!! It would offend far to many people, religious and community groups would be up in arms. the head of Chick-fil-a would faint.

I will try to find some good food ads from differing countries that I think merit inclusion for whatever reason, maybe just because they are a little different. They may not be in English or you may not quite understand what the hell they are trying to get across but they will be interesting.

 

Here is the first,

QSR Customer Service Index 2011

The American Customer Service Index for this year has just been released and a few surprises jump out at me.

For many years Starbucks has been in the decline in store numbers both here in the US and in many other countries around the world with local opposition beating them in both service, price and coffee quality. Some would say that is not a hard thing to do but it seems their customers are happy with their offering, with a 2.6% increase in customer satisfaction over last year. That’s two years in a row of happy customers.

I am also happy to see Pizza Hut finally doing something right and again it is two years of increased customer satisfaction with this year being a whopping 3.8% over last year.

In fact the majority of fast food did quite well in the rankings with McDonalds beating the rest at 7.5% over last year.

The concepts that did not do as well are the ones that you would expect and I am a little sad to see KFC flat this year. They seem to have lost there way a bit recently. I certainly have noticed a downturn in product quality, service and cleanliness recently.

If you are interested in seeing the full list by industry here is how you get there.

http://www.theacsi.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18&Itemid=115