Subway Canada pulls focus from monkey mascot

Subway's animated mascot takes backseat to new "fresh" message

Subway Canada is done monkeying around – at least for now.

After seven years with an animated monkey as its brand spokesperson in Canada, the quick-serve chain is testing a new concept with its latest campaign.

The brand’s new TV spot, by KBS+ Montreal, introduces consumers to “The Fresh Effect,” a new concept that will be the focus of its upcoming marketing.

In the ad, a man and a woman are transported to an imaginary world of lush green spinach fields and avocado trees by biting into a sub.

The idea, according to KBS+ creative director Sacha Ouimet, is to show the intense freshness of Subway’s products by placing the actors in a super saturated, magical world.

Ouimet said the brand’s next ad, which will go to market next month, will also focus on the “fresh effect” concept. Like the current ad, it will not feature the monkey.

“The monkey works for certain situations, but in other situations, people are tired of seeing him,” said Ouimet. “After seven years working with the monkey, we got to a point where we had a limitation in the creative.”

Ouimet said there is still love for the monkey from some consumers, especially young ones, and the character will continue to “make cameos” in the marketing, though it will not be the focal point in the coming months.

However, he added that the monkey continues to perform well as the mascot for Subway’s breakfast offering and will continue to be featured in the promotions for its breakfast menu.

Subway’s new campaign includes 15- and 30-second TV spots as well as a 30-second radio spot and point-of-sale advertising, all by KBS+.

Digital work for the campaign as created by MMB, while Veritas Communications handled the social media. Carat handled the media buy.

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