So, I recently wrote back to Quiznos at the suggestion of Jon on Twitter, and with the editing help of Dave once again. Jon has apparently been following the Subway saga along with a handful of other people… and thought that it may be an appropriate next step. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I’ve had this thought myself, and if I remember correctly Jon had posted about it previously on Facebook or MySpace or Twitter or some social media site. Memory and my Googling skills fail me in finding that now, though.
I have high hopes on getting a well thought out response or two. I sent the message below to Mr. Jones, the same message to Mr. Bordeaux, and a slightly modified one to a few other email addresses that I managed to dig up. I enjoyed the candid reply from Mr. Jones before, although I was unable to get any further comment from Mr. Bordeaux or his team with whom he was going to share my email.
From: ERiC AiXeLsyD <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 10:07 AM
Subject: The Quiznos Toasty Torpedo™ ads?
To: “Jones, Tony” <TJones2@quiznos.com>
Hello Mr. Jones,
I would like to thank you again for the response to my email last week regarding Subway’s lack of allergy awareness, cheese tessellation, appropriate responses to customer feedback, and poor decisions in general. I understand and have learned first hand that good communication is a key component to the Quiznos way of doing business. I also appreciate your expedited replies, and hope that you can gain something knowing how cavalier your competitor’s attitude is toward genuine customer concerns. I am glad to be a gauge of what you do at Quiznos, and I would like to hope that my feedback is valuable.
In sharing my recent adventures in email with some friends, I have noticed a theme that has come up in suggested queries for your fine establishment… and I must say that I have indeed wondered the same thing myself.
Are you using “little people” models for the toasty torpedoes ads, perhaps children or pygmies? I did get a turkey torpedo a while ago, and I did make a mental note that it seemed to be nothing more than a bread stick made into a sandwich. I thought that the toasty torpedo looked bigger in the ads… but I didn’t quite connect why until recently.
A quick Google image search led me to this photo, perfect for a reference for our purposes…
I’m sure you can also see it now that I’ve pointed it out. I, my friend, cannot un-see it. There is no way that the hand in the above graphic is correctly proportioned to the Toasty TORPEDO™. I’m actually tempted to go get another one in an attempt to re-create this photo to see how accurate it may be. I can guarantee though, that if I did in fact hold a toasty torpedo like that, that it would most certainly fall apart. Mine lasted for about a bite and a half before it fell apart.
In Googling, I found multiple odd references to this ad campaign. Does Quiznos make any official statements to counter these goofy bloggers? I found one guy that thinks it looks like a cigarette ad. One guy seems to have a Freudian problem and these people seem to think that one commercial purposely compares your torpedos to a cup of human excrement. Okay, I have to give them that one. I mean… you did hear of 2 Girls, 1 Cup right? I’d find it and link to it, but some may find that offensive/distasteful and I’m sure you know how to use search engines. These people even seem to come to the same conclusion as I have toward the end of their blog… as well as a commenter on this blog.
I understand that all advertising is not one hundred percent factual, and that things tend to be exaggerated, but I really find this image rather misleading. While I understand that I’m not going to walk into a Quiznos any time soon and find a HAL 9000’s creepy sexually suggestive oven cousin, two gorgeous scantily clad women eating a sub rather suggestively, two naked rednecks in a tub of water over a campfire, a baby with the voice of a grown man, anyone suckling on any wolf teats, or even genetic mutations with Latino accents and tiny guitars floating in the air singing praise of your sandwiches… I feel that you owe some level of honesty to the customer.
While the other ads are easily discernible as attention grabbing goofiness, this one seems rather straight forward at first — yet dishonest upon further inspection.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter as well as the thoughts of any other marketing people or regional managers in the Quiznos family.
If I didn’t feel that I was already taking up too much of your time, I wouldn’t mind getting into a discussion on the violent phallic imagery that the shape and name of these subs not-so-subliminally suggest. I mean, really? Torpedo? Bullet? How many feminists have already written to discuss this? I feel that this topic is a less pressing issue though, to be saved for another day.
If you feel the need for a background to any of this, this is where it all started, and how it played out:
That’s my initial message, Subway’s official non-response response, me sending it to Quiznos for comment and getting one, and finally a response from Subway telling me that someone else will respond… which as of yet, has not happened.
…All of which leads us to this posting.