In 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca wanted money to pay for college. He borrowed $1,000 from a neighbor and started a sandwich shop. Today, DeLuca sits atop Subway, one of the fastest growing franchises in the world with over 37,000 restaurants in 98 countries and territories.
Now, DeLuca wants to return the favor — and tell the story of Subway in a way that differentiates it from a faceless chain. Subway, with the help of Young & Successful Media, has launched a 100-country campaign geared toward young entrepreneurs. It’s called the Global Challenge, and it asks people to “Build Your Own Virtual Subway” in a business-simulation game/contest.
“There are very few companies on the planet that really care about cultivating entrepreneurs and young talent around the world like Subway does — or are big enough to pull off a campaign of this size,” said Jennifer Kushell, founder of Young & Successful Media.
The goal of the virtual Subway game, which started Jan. 29 and will run through March 12, is to challenge aspiring young entrepreneurs from all over the world to set up their own virtual Subway store for a chance to win one of five all-expense paid trips to the U.S. to meet DeLuca, or 100 other available opportunities to work with or for Subway.
The game, which was designed by boutique agency The Project, involves a few stages that teach players about the brand, the culture, the concept of franchising, and takes them through six different challenges, including writing promotional copy, doing social media marketing for the location and even an interview with Subway’s head of global development. The idea is to teach these business-minded millennials more about franchising and the Subway brand using digital channels they know and love.
“We all knew that if we could create universally compelling content, target the right audience, bring the brand to life, humanize it, have people fall in love with the culture and the incredible team that drives it — if enough saw it, a handful would be inspired to want to be a part of that team, and if not, they inevitably become more enthusiastic customers,” said Kushell.
There is also a dedicated Facebook Page called Subway Global Challenge where YSM posts updates and fun videos from key Subway execs like De Luca and Dick Pilchen, the first-ever Subway employee who also drew the Subway logo. On the Facebook page players can also talk about their visions for their store locations and share ideas. There is also a Twitter account @virtualsubway and hashtag #virtualsubway associated to the game. On top of that, there’s a Live Chat feature to help answer people’s questions at all times since it is running across all time zones.
“Millennials are disruptive thinkers in companies and organizations,” said Kushell. “We knew we could address that in this campaign and give them a chance to show the world what they’re capable of.”
Check out the game site for a world map of all of the virtual stores so far and a leaderboard to see whose stores and doing the best.
Dentsu’s new global gaming lead reflects on gaming strategy ‘void’ in advertising, media
Despite the rapid rise of gaming in recent years — or perhaps because of it — many brands and marketers are still confused about how to best reach the gaming community. Dentsu's new global gaming lead Brent Koning is equipped to navigate these uncertain waters.
‘Time to go on the offense’: In a choppy ad tech M&A market, strategic investors eye deals
For many strategic investors, it's a good moment to put their corporate development teams to work.
Member ExclusiveDigiday+ Research: 60% of brands, retailers say holiday revenue will increase this year — slightly
Despite the current economic climate and perhaps not surprisingly following a record-breaking Thanksgiving shopping weekend, Digiday's survey found that the majority of brands and retailers expect revenue to increase during the holiday season over last year -- albeit only slightly.
SponsoredPublishers are adapting advertising strategies for a privacy-first world
Tina Iannacchino, senior publisher director, Seedtag So much of the attention around the death of third-party cookies and its impact on the digital advertising industry is focused on the implications for brands and consumers, which is far from the complete picture. The digital publishing industry in the U.S. is massive and set to be shaken […]
Why Spotify makes Wrapped its annual marketing moment
As first-party data becomes increasingly important, so does Spotify's Wrapped end of year marketing campaign.
Why YouTube’s focus on competing with streamers may have hurt the platform as brands focus on TikTok
As competition continues to heat up in the digital video and content creation space with TikTok, Instagram and the recent addition of social app BeReal, YouTube may be feeling that heat more and more.