As one of the world’s largest restaurant brands, Subway operates more than 37,000 locations, including 1,600 in Brazil. The company has ambitious growth plans for Latin America, including expanding its footprint, strengthening delivery and online ordering options and introducing new menu options.
Recently, Subway embarked on the development of a robust advertising campaign for its new Frango Super Bacon sub. Featuring breaded chicken, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and Super Bacon: bacon cream and bacon slices, the sandwich was the most well-liked and received the most votes in the brand’s consumer surveys at the outset of the year.
The limited-time menu item would be available across stores in Brazil beginning in June 2023. Thus, the ads for Frango Super Bacon would need to have strong short-term sales potential, and ideally would also support long-term brand building.
“It’s key to get new product launches right – they help drive store sales and further cement Subway as a favorite restaurant among consumers by offering exciting and delicious options,” said Rodrigo Munaretto, Brazil CMO, Subway. “We wanted our creative to highlight the unique features this new sub brings – a creamy sauce and crunchy bacon – to appeal to loyal and new customers alike.”
To ensure its creative would resonate with the public, Subway began testing at an early stage to identify the strongest storyline for the new sub’s launch. The brand submitted four animatics to System1’s Test Your Ad platform.
Test Your Ad measures viewers’ emotional responses to predict the short-term and long-term impact of TV, digital, outdoor, print and audio advertising. System1’s IPA-validated Star Rating ranges from 1 to 5.9 and is based on how people feel, with happiness driving higher scores and greater long-term brand growth. Meanwhile, the Spike Rating indicates short-term sales potential.
One of Subway’s animatics achieved a solid 3.4-Star result with a modest Spike Rating. The Test Your Ad report also revealed a second-by-second emotional map, highlighting the point at which happiness was highest, as well as a detailed look at brand recognition.
To unlock additional learnings, Subway invested in System1’s Guidance offering. The bespoke improvements are grounded in science and expertise, and focus on five key secrets to success for TV campaigns: emotion, story, soundtrack, fluency and character.
“We leaned on System1’s Guidance to uncover which creative elements were essential and where our ad could be improved,” added Munaretto. “The insights were delivered quickly and made it clear how we should move forward with production.”
In addition to reviewing the animatic, System1’s Research and Guidance team took a closer look at previous high-scoring Subway creative to identify the most impactful elements. This exercise revealed that incorporating scenes where people were tasting sandwiches led to an increase in viewer happiness. Subway leveraged these findings by adding scenes showcasing people tasting the Frango Super Bacon to drive appetite appeal.
To enhance the speed of brand recognition, System1 also made recommendations that would bring the Subway branding to the forefront. The brand applied these learnings by setting more scenes within the restaurant to make it very clear to viewers that the creative is from Subway.
After incorporating System1’s Guidance, Subway tested its finished film to see how the recommendations had impacted viewers. The new version achieved 4.7-Stars, an impressive uplift of 1.3-Stars compared to the original animatic. Additionally, the ad secured a strong Spike Rating of 1.23 and an exceptional Fluency Rating of 96 out of 100. Improving on all three metrics better positions Subway for short- and long-term growth.
“With System1’s support, we were able to enhance the short- and long-term effectiveness of our creative to give Frango Super Bacon a successful introduction in Brazil,” said Munaretto. “We’re incredibly pleased with the end result – achieving a 4.7-Star ad is a testament to the collaborative nature of our relationship.”
"With System1’s support, we were able to enhance the effectiveness of our creative to give Frango Super Bacon a successful introduction in Brazil. It stands out as one of the best launches we've had in the past three years. It far surpassed sales expectations and even exceeded ‘Carne Seca,’ which also had an outstanding launch with a strong 4.5-Star ad!"Rodrigo Munaretto Brazil CMO, Subway