Monday, May 23, 2011

Subway Restaurants Take a Bite Out of Hunger

The Subway restaurants chain's community project has taken on the cause of two social issues: hunger and obesity, with  a unique marketing campaign Fit to Fight Hunger. Nearly 1600 restaurants in California, Hawaii and Utah will be participating in this piggyback type campaign, hoping to raise awareness for the rising needs of local food banks, while also promoting their low fat Subway Fresh Fit sandwiches and encouraging customers to make healthier eating choices.

This marketing campaign will be run in these three states with advertising in broadcast and print media and on their website, You Tube and Facebook. Fit to Fight Hunger provides information with some of the harsh statistics of hunger in the communities along with a listing of the food banks that they are supporting with their donation of over $100,000.00. There is an invitation to customers to join Subway in fighting hunger by supporting any of the 20 local food banks listed with donations of food, money, and time.

Here's what I liked about this campaign-

Subway does not tie-in buying their sandwiches with their donations to the cause. This makes their donation to the food banks philanthropic and not based on any surge of customer spending.

While their intentions are to market their healthy line of sandwiches, they are piggybacking their advertising dollars to spread the word about the cause and to create awareness for the food banks.

There purpose seems truly to be to educate and inspire customers to join them in helping the
cause by providing information about locations of local food banks.

There is no mention of which Subways are participating and which are not, so there is no perceived self interest of tying-in sales to their giving.

On the other hand- I have been to several of the restaurants this last week and have seen no mention of the Fit to Fight Hunger campaign, which means they are not directly reaching the customers. I wonder whether Subway could do more to help to promote this cause within their restaurants. While on the website they invite others to join them in fighting hunger, they do not provide any additional support for the customer to become involved other than their invitation. Finally, there is no way to assess the impact of the campaign on increasing donations to food banks. Ads are great but often forgotten.

Subway seems to be trying to makes this as clean cut a cause marketing program as possible
without mingling motives, an often problematic issue in cause marketing.

Besides, just the fight against obesity by providing low fat, yet delicious fast food is to be applauded.


1 comment:

Aira Bongco said...

Hunger will always be an international issue. So many people live luxurious lives at the expense of other people. Hunger should not be an issue if people are not so selfish about made-up needs.