Quiznos slashes price, touts 20 new low-carb subs

Quiznos Sub is serving up the 'largest low-carb menu in Canada,' with a new ad campaign to match.

Quiznos Sub is serving up the ‘largest low-carb menu in Canada,’ with a new ad campaign to match.

Bolstered by a media investment hovering around $1 million, the direct mail and radio campaign was produced by Toronto-based agency Saatchi & Saatchi. It supports a new lineup of low-carb sandwiches – made with soy flatbread – and comes equipped with the tagline (still pending approval at press) ‘Counting Carbs? Try Quiznos’ 20 new Toasty Flatbreads.’

However, due to uncertainty about low-carb food advertising regulations, radio advertising will deliver a simple pricing message in order to drive traffic. Launching April 19 and running for six weeks, a pair of radio spots will entice customers with a small sandwich for $2.99 – a discount of $2.50. Once in the door, patrons won’t be able to miss the P-O-S highlighting the low-carb sandwiches, points out Greg MacDonald, VP marketing at the Mississauga, Ont.-based chain.

Similarly, six million DM pieces, which will be distributed nationally (excluding Quebec), feature a tantalizing shot of one of the sandwiches and include a ‘buy one low-carb sandwich, get the second free’ coupon.

‘Our whole marketing strategy is based on trial since we’re new to the marketplace,’ says MacDonald. ‘Our competitors at Subway, McDonald’s and Mr. Sub will fall over when they see the low price point, because we’ve never done a price offering before. To some extent, they might think it’s desperation, but it’s not. It’s to get consumers in the door to taste the low-carb options.’

MacDonald says Quiznos saw an opportunity to provide more variety for the growing number of consumers following Atkins and other strict low-carb meal plans. He explains: ‘They have a hard time staying on their diet because of [a lack of choices].’

Interestingly, Quiznos hasn’t conducted any research to prove this point – yet. The plan is to produce a survey after the debut of the 20 new sandwiches, then use the information for PR purposes. ‘Everybody and their brother is launching low-carb right now, so we want to premise it with the survey,’ says MacDonald. ‘We hope it will give us an edge [in terms of media exposure].’

The overall goal for the 250-strong chain in Canada is to hit 1,000 transactions per week in every store, he adds.

On April 12, Quiznos added 20 low-carb sandwich options to its 2,500 menu boards worldwide, and also adopted the global positioning tagline ‘more low-carb options than anyone else on the planet.’

Client: Quiznos Sub

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Toronto

Creative Director: Mariano Favetto

Copywriter: Blain Harper

Art Director: Alex Beker

Account Director: Samantha Gibbs

Account Executive: Dave Conlon