Home Blog January 2017 Subway National Sandwich Day Campaign

Subway National Sandwich Day Campaign

Subway National Sandwich Day Campaign
In 2015, SUBWAY® Canada celebrated November 3, National Sandwich Day, for the first time with a BOGO (buy one, get one) promotion. In 2016, Subway went a step further, with a buy one, get one, give one campaign.

When a customer purchased a sandwich with a drink, they received a free sandwich to share, and the financial equivalent of one meal was donated by SUBWAY® to Food Banks Canada.

“Traditionally, SUBWAY® Canada has focused on giving to the local communities that it operates in since each franchisee sees and is passionate about different opportunities in their community,” says Tamara Lewis, Brand Manager, SUBWAY® restaurants Canada. “This year, we wanted to take action at the national level, and Food Banks Canada was a natural fit for us. In addition to operating Canada-wide, they also allowed us to provide fresh foods to those in need through the extensive network of food organizations they support.”

Although this was the first nation-wide meal donation campaign that SUBWAY® Canada has operated, and only its second year of celebrating National Sandwich Day with in-store promotions, the campaign was an enormous success, generating a financial donation equivalent to 574,738 meals to Food Banks Canada.

Digging in to the campaign

So, what made the relatively young event such a huge success?

A great offer was a good start. The support of franchisees and overwhelming customer enthusiasm were also essential components. But the foundation was a skillfully crafted strategy that left nothing to chance.

“We went out with a fully integrated campaign that hit across all media at strategic touchpoints, both in the lead-up to and on National Sandwich Day,” says Tamara.

Like a great sandwich, the mix of ingredients proved to be a winning combination:
  • Strong head office support of franchisees. In advance of the event, webinars, newsletters, and training sessions educated franchisees about the promotion.
  • Careful timing. While franchisees needed to prepare weeks in advance, messaging to consumers was carefully timed so they understood how the promotion worked. “We began communication early across some platforms but went in heavy across all media channels in the days leading up to November 3, encouraging everyone to leave their lunch at home to help those in need,” explains Tamara.
  •  Creative digital experiences. An engaging, stop-motion illustrated video was developed to raise awareness of the campaign and how customers can help make a difference in the battle against hunger in Canada. A fun Snapchat lens with a gamification element was also an appealing way to spread the word about the in-restaurant promotion, and proved so popular that it ranked among the top five lenses in Canada.
  • Integrated campaign. SUBWAY® Canada used an integrated, cross-channel campaign that included TV, radio, digital, social media, in-store, and public relations to communicate and promote the event. “The messaging was consistent and all the pieces worked well together, and that was crucial to our success,” says Tamara.
  • Support from key influencers. SUBWAY® Canada reached various target audiences through social media personalities, such as Emmett Blois from Big Brother Canada and Amazing Race Canada, and other influencers who helped spread the word and encourage participation through social media.
“The involvement of our franchisees and their customers was inspiring and we are thrilled with the number of meals that we were able to donate,” says Tamara. She also shared that the event has received a lot of positive consumer feedback, and that franchisees have expressed how proud they are to have been part of its success.

Long-term gains

“On behalf of the food banking network, Food Banks Canada is thankful to SUBWAY® Canada and their operators, associates, and customers who supported their generous contribution,” says Tania Little, Director, Development and Partnerships, Food Banks Canada. “In addition to providing well over half a million meals for Canadians in need, they’ve generated a high level of awareness about the issue, which will continue to make an enormous difference in the months and years to come.”

Is your company considering a national partnership campaign? We have the expertise to help make it a success! Contact Tania Little, Director, Development and Partnerships, at 1-877-535-0958 x250 or tania@foodbankscanada.ca.

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Hunger Facts



of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)