Aishwarya Ramesh
Marketing

Subway promotes new Sub at collegian-friendly price point

Subway and Dentsu Impact get together for an ad campaign for 'Chhota' subs.

Days spent in college generally involve lots of projects, assignments, exams and the eternal quest to find something to eat. Thanks to the limited pocket money that most college students receive, they're always on the lookout for something light, cheap and convenient. This is the insight that Subway's new TVC plays on.

The TVC carries a tagline - ‘Chhota Sub Khao, Aur Jo Marzi Le Aao’ and pushes consumers to buy Subway's new variant to save money. Chhota Sub is a four-inch-mini submarine sandwich priced at Rs 85, inclusive of all taxes. It is available in Hara Bhara Kebab and Corn and Peas flavours as vegetarian options and chicken slice and egg and cheese as non-vegetarian options. Consumers have an option of making a Chhota Sub Combo by paying Rs 30 extra for the beverage - an aspect of the offer which is highlighted at the end of the commercial.

In a press release, Shuchi Monga, head of marketing, Subway South Asia said, “We are committed to deliver value to our guests without any compromise on the quality. With the launch of Chhota Sub, we are offering four of our core sandwiches at a lucrative price point. We are hoping to see new guests come in and have an experience of the brand.” Conceptualised by Dentsu Impact, the campaign intends to highlight Subway’s new and affordable entry-level offering.

Anupama Ramaswamy, national creative director, Dentsu Impact says, “There’s no denying the fact that we Indians are very value-conscious. The Chhota Sub campaign, through light-hearted humour, looks at the world from the youngsters’ lens and how the new Chhota Sub, with its attractive price point, gives them a license to indulge in buying things from the savings made.

Anupama Ramaswamy, national creative director, Dentsu Impact.
Anupama Ramaswamy, national creative director, Dentsu Impact.

The TVC has been produced by Happy Making Films. Says Gaurav Kandpal, director - Happy Making Films, “As the narrator, Vijay Raaz adds his brand of humour to the film. We have made the film look very realistic, with the setting of a classroom and actors used. The challenge was to pack the drama in a tight sequence wherein a problem occurs and the protagonist, because of the Chhota Sub, gets to bask in the glory.”

The 360-degree campaign will be led by television and digital platforms including YouTube, social, OTTs, gaming apps and popular audio apps. There is also a hashtag challenge which is being planned on TikTok. Consumer behaviour and brand strategy enthusiast Mythili Chandrasekar (former JWT), says that the campaign's strategy is good, but it's nothing particularly new. "The TG is clear, the price point is clear and the proposition of 'use our product to save money' has been done before," she says.

Mythili Chandrasekar
Mythili Chandrasekar

"The new product is a proper sub, as opposed to a smaller toastie. Maybe they didn't have a sub at this price point. This is just another routine item that has been added to the menu at this specific price point - below 100 and above 80 rupees. It may not rake in the volumes for the company," she says. Chandrasekhar agrees that it's taking on other fast food giants like McDonald's and Burger King, who offer menu items priced as low as 29 rupees. "If an audience has a limited amount of money and chooses to go to McDonald's instead - they end up losing out on that audience," she says.

Shripad Kulkarni, media transformation consultant, points out that India currently has a huge youth market that the brand could possibly be trying to capture. "With their limited money, college kids try to manage all their expenses - including eating out and inexpensive meals. This is precisely the insight that the ad is based on," he said.

Shripad Kulkarni
Shripad Kulkarni

"It's an attempt to get a piece of the segment, as opposed to actually responding to an offer that someone is putting out. It's the correct strategy and it's been well executed. It has the trademark of Happy Making Films all over it. However, the pun in the tagline 'Sub' kuch bhi le aao has been somewhere lost in translation. It doesn't come through or create impact..." he signs off.

Priya Gurnani senior creative director,Publicis Worldwide, Mumbai feels that the strategy of attracting college kids by luring them with price is not new for a fast food chain.

Priya Gurnani
Priya Gurnani

"McDonalds has done it successfully for years. The young Indian is still looking for bargains to maximise his/her pocket money without compromising on the cool factor. Here the price point isn't an "aha moment" from the original price or the other products the brand has to offer. This is not a new product, Subway had mini subs a couple of years ago. It's mostly a relaunch, repackage with a core group as target in mind," she concludes.