Sandwich chain Subway wanted to celebrate its 48th anniversary in September 2012 with a big party. But this particular birthday boy didn’t want to receive presents; it wanted to give them. And that’s what made the month-long celebration not just a party but a Subprize party.
Every day Subway gave away a different grand prize, as well as additional smaller gifts. It offered clues about the next day’s prize on its Facebook page via a series of videos, but it didn’t announce what the gift was until the day itself; the guesses became valuable social chatter. Agency Jack Morton Worldwide’s efforts included helping Subway partner with companies such as Jeep and Radio Shack so that it could offer nearly $1 million worth of prizes throughout the campaign.
To receive a prize, customers had to buy a beverage in a Subway store, then enter the promotional code on the cup onto the Subprize website. The site was designed to greet visitors as if they were the guest of honor at the party, and they could invite friends via a link to post on their Facebook wall. Each visitor received an additional prize entry for the first five of his or her friends who clicked through, which encouraged social media sharing.
Radio spots, banner ads, ads in USA Today, and TV spots during primetime and NFL programming further spread the word. Point-of-purchase displays in 27,000 restaurants reminded customers to add a soda to their purchase so that they could become part of the celebration.
Proving that just about everyone likes a good party—and great gifts—the promotion was deemed Subway’s most successful in five years. And that wasn’t just in media impressions: The average order value increased 1.5%, generating more than $20 million in incremental sales.