March 27, 2014 // Franchising.com // MANASQUAN, N.J. – Jersey Mike's Subs, known for its authentic fresh sliced/fresh grilled subs, is introducing a new branding campaign designed to ultimately reframe the sub sandwich experience and position the 58-year old company as the one that owns this elevated, authentic position. The campaign is Jersey Mike's first with Wisconsin-based Planet Propaganda, which anticipates that the ads will raise the perception of what a sub can be.
Premiering the tagline "A Sub Above," the campaign mirrors the company's new brand manifesto, created by Planet Propaganda, that starts: "Jersey Mike's is a brand that believes: In the value of ingredients, in the virtue of intention, and in the idea that making a sub sandwich and making a difference can be one and the same." The subtext of the campaign reinforces the careful consideration of every aspect of what the Jersey Mike's team does – every slice, every sandwich, every store.
"Jersey Mike's, which dates back to 1956 at the Jersey Shore, has been successful by growing organically," said Rich Hope, Jersey Mike's Chief Marketing Officer. "Our strategic recipe has focused on creating the best sub sandwich in the industry, making a difference in our local communities and selecting franchisees who share our passion for both – and now, with 1,300 locations open and in development nationwide, it's time to share our story with a wider audience."
Two new TV spots are the centerpiece of the campaign and create a special Jersey Mike's world, reinforcing the great care the company puts into making a perfect sub that is delicious yet not uncomfortably fancy. One spot opens, hovering on an iconic Jersey Mike's brown sub bag, twisted at the end to secure the sub inside, as if just prepared in one of Jersey Mike's restaurants. The sub unwraps and emerges in a fantastical animated world, becoming at one point a submarine in the sea, which then ascends into the sky as the undercarriage of a dirigible. The question is asked, "Are you a sub…or a Sub Above?"
"Jersey Mike's is a fundamentally optimistic brand," said John Besmer, Planet Propaganda Principle/Creative Director. "They're the kind of people who believe there's always room for a better way. Whether it's making a better sub, or making the world a better place, they just dive in and do it. We wanted to showcase that elevated sense of responsibility, as well an elevated sense of what a sub can be."
Billboards also play an important role in the strategy. The brown Jersey Mike's sub bag is again the star, providing a wink to those who already know what delights are waiting inside, and providing an anticipatory experience for those who have yet to try an authentic Jersey Mike's sub.
Outreach begins in March with local cable and radio buys, outdoor media ads, Internet banner ads, Jersey Mike's e-mail club, and social media. The spots coincide with Jersey Mike's 4th Annual March "Month of Giving" fundraising campaign. During the month of March, customers can make a donation to a local charity at any area Jersey Mike's restaurant.
The fundraiser culminated in the nationwide event, Jersey Mike's "Day of Giving" on Wednesday, March 26, when 100% of the day's sales will go to more than 100 different charities including hospitals, youth organizations, food banks and more. Last year's campaign raised $1.7 million for 86 different charities nationwide. One of the new commercials is tagged with an invitation to participate in the local fundraiser.
"At Jersey Mike's, we are reframing the sub sandwich experience as has been done with coffee and Mexican food," said Hope. "Staying true to our roots is critical as we let the world know we have the best submarine sandwich on the planet."
Jersey Mike's has nearly doubled in size in just three years. In 2013, Jersey Mike's reported record-breaking growth, opening 140 new locations with unit growth of 22%. In addition, the company reported a system-wide sales increase of 22%, to $406 million. Last year, Technomic ranked Jersey Mike's the 3rd fastest-growing restaurant chain with sales above $200 million.
Also in 2013, Founder and CEO Peter Cancro, who started the company when he was just 17 years old, was recognized by the International Franchise Association as "Entrepreneur of the Year" and named a 2013 Golden Chain Award Winner by top industry media outlet Nation's Restaurant News.
The popularity is fueled by passionate Jersey Mike's fans who crave their subs made Mike's Way® with onions, lettuce, and tomatoes and The Juice: red wine vinegar and olive oil blended to perfection. It's an exquisite zing -- a splash of extra and unexpected. The company uses only premium meats and cheeses sliced on the spot and piled on delectable bread baked fresh in the restaurant throughout the day. The company wins best sub awards in virtually every market it enters.
Jersey Mike's, a fast-casual sub sandwich franchise with more than 1,300 locations open and under development nationwide, has a long history of community involvement and support. Jersey Mike's serves authentic fresh sliced subs on fresh baked bread – the same recipe it started with in 1956. The company's mission is to bring its customers the highest quality, freshest made sub in the industry and give back to the communities in which it operates. A restaurant locator and franchise information for Jersey Mike's can be found at www.jerseymikes.com.
SOURCE Jersey Mike's
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