Subway gets cost-effective for its first national outdoor campaign

By Rohit Nautiyal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | March 09, 2010
For its first national outdoor campaign, the sandwich restaurant has used on-vehicle advertising on cabs and other cars, in nine metropolitan and tier II and tier III cities

It was only last year that Subway, a nine-year-old player in the country's quick service restaurant (QSR) category, felt the need for a creative agency. Thus, Arms Communications and Alliance Advertising came on-board as its creative and media partners, respectively. Now, the company's first nationwide outdoor campaign is seeing the light of day. To promote its ongoing Every Day Value offer with Chicken Ham Sub @ Rs 50, Subway has advertised on transit media, using cabs and other cars, in nine metropolitan and tier II and III cities.

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The target group for Subway comprises young adults -- college graduates and working professionals -- in the age group of 15-35 years.

For the month-long campaign, Subway has tied up with CashUrDrive, an on-vehicle advertising company with a database of around 20,000 vehicles, which is registered pan-India for advertising.

So far, Subway had not considered OOH in its media mix, apart from doing some vanilla branding on hoardings and mobile vans in select locations across Punjab last year.

Stating the reason behind going aggressive on outdoor this time, Sanjiv Pandey, manager, marketing, Subway says, "Since this is a national campaign where we wish to reach our TG in a big way, outdoor works well. Branded cabs provide high visibility with lower costs. Earlier, this option was not available, as there were no organised vendors in the market. We plan to use outdoor consistently with a focus on regional markets."

According to sources, apart from the cost incurred on putting up the posters on the cabs, the cost of media for each radio cab is between Rs 6,000-9,000 per month. This can come down, depending upon the number of cabs hired.

Discussing the dos and don'ts of on-vehicle advertising, Raghu Khanna, chief executive officer, CashUrDrive shares that it is of prime importance to keep the creative simple and precise. "The onlooker should be able to understand the brand message, when the vehicle is stationary or moving at a high speed. The client's brief was to penetrate areas where traditional media cannot reach. To serve the purpose, we roped in both independent vehicle owners and radio taxis like Meru Cabs, Mega Cabs and City Cabs."

In the days to come, the brand will focus on creating consistent advertising with a multi-media approach, including TV, print, social media and mobile marketing, in order to create top-of-the-mind slotting for Subway restaurants. The media agency has been briefed to align regional campaigns with national campaigns, in order to optimise potential results and create salience with maximum target-audience exposures.

Currently, there are 160 Subway restaurants across 25 cities in India. Of these, most are in Delhi and Mumbai, the strongest markets for the brand. Subway is also building on the number of restaurants in the Kolkata market.

Though there is no competition for the brand in the sandwich space, in the QSR space, the brand contends with fast-food services such as McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut and Domino's.

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