Advertising & Marketing

Subway® gives away 13 million+ meals to hunger-relief charities

In a global, real-time data-led campaign devised and executed by J Walter Thompson Sydney, more than 40,000 Subway restaurants in more than 60 countries recently invited customers to join the Subway Live Feed to help fight hunger around the world.   

The Subway Live Feed concept, developed specifically to celebrate World Sandwich Day on Friday November 3, saw Subway partnering with local hunger-relief charities.  Locally, Subway partnered with Foodbank Australia.

For every Sub bought, Subway gave a meal to someone in need through partner charities.  Meals donated on World Sandwich Day were tracked through the Subway Live Feed digital ticker in real time. 

For the majority of participating countries, a live API sourced from Subway’s point-of-sale devices at the restaurants was used to demonstrate in real time a country-specific and global live tally of the number of meals that Subway was giving to charity.

Individual countries displayed their tally on their campaign microsite, on digital banners and on dynamic outdoor billboards around the world, including 42nd Street, NYC. Word was also spread via social.

The data driven idea was conceived and developed locally by J. Walter Thompson Sydney and then expanded to a global campaign with reach in 60 countries.

J Walter Thompson Sydney won the Subway World Sandwich Day business in a global pitch against agencies from Canada, UK, USA, MEA and LATAM in August.  Locally, J. Walter Thompson was awarded the Subway Australia account following a pitch earlier this year.  

The campaign was supported by a robust public relations campaign that worked to engage corporate staff, Franchisees and Sandwich Artists in the lead up to the day, as well as drive awareness with guests through influencer content and local area marketing. The J Walter Thompson campaign in Australia was supported by other WPP AUNZ agencies including Webling, PPR and Ikon.

Chris Carroll, the Chief Advertising Officer at Subway, said: “The Live Feed concept has been our first globally activated campaign for the brand and it is a huge success. Subway Live Feed enabled us to engage with our guests in ways we haven’t before – from using live data to drive momentum, and empowering our staff and guests to make a real difference to people in need.

“It is really promising to see our Australian agency, J Walter Thompson, leading a very successful global campaign, and we look forward to making this an annual campaign for Subway.”

Live Feed Results:

•    13.3M meals were donated to charity across the globe as a direct result of the campaign.

•    Sales at the 40,000 Subway restaurants increased by up to 20%.

•    Locally, over 287,000 meals were donated in Australia, and over 90,000 in New Zealand as part of Live Feed. 

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