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Subway’s Perplexing Sandwich Promo
For Subway, National Sandwich Day was a natural fit.
Lots of sandwich shops ran promos on National Sandwich Day last Thursday. Subway was no exception, offering a buy one get one free special.
But that wasn’t all. Subway ran another promotion that was far less straightforward and not as well received.
Subway’s “Sandwich Seat” Sweepstakes offered a chance at a free gift card to anyone stuck in the middle seat of a plane during a flight on National Sandwich Day.
If you think that all sounds a little convoluted, you’re not alone.
This Inc. article does a good job detailing the misfires in the campaign.
For starters, it only applied to a pretty small number of people who happened to be flying last Thursday, happened to be in a middle seat, and happened to hear about the promotion.
What’s more, Subway required that sandwich hopefuls upload a photo of themselves and share a bunch of personal information. After all those hoops, the sandwich still wasn’t guaranteed. It just meant the person was entered into a sweepstakes to win one of 10,000 gift cards.
As Inc. points out, the chances that there were even that many applicants over the two-day period seems unlikely. Still, a promotion associating a brand with the middle seat of an airplane, a universally despised experience, on the most crowded promo day in the industry seems misguided at best.
Commemorative events have gained prominence in today’s social media landscape, and many demand some thoughtful messaging. Organizations of all shapes and sizes are grappling with how to mark them in compelling ways.
And while most B2B brands don’t have an appetite for sandwich giveaways, Subway’s confounding campaign does offer a broader lead-gen and content marketing lesson.
All lead-gen is an unspoken negotiation with your audience. People need to believe whatever you’re offering (a white paper, a giveaway, etc.) is worth more than what they’re providing (their time, their personal info, etc.). If that balance is off, conversions will suffer.