Subway Fresh Fit…or McDonald’s?

With this ad, Subway has picked a bad way to talk about a good program.

Here’s the message of the ad: Subway Fresh Fit for Kids is a meal program that offers a healthy alternative to fast food.

Here’s what the magazine reader sees:

McDonald’s fries. Turn page.

Here’s what the magazine reader who has nothing better to do than spend time reading an ad sees:

McDonald’s fries. Oh wait, jumbo size is no way for a kid to go through life. That’s true; small fries are probably better for you than jumbo size. Turn page.

The image of McDonald’s-style fries practically fills the page. At the bottom of the page, in teeny tiny type that no one will ever read, is some bad copy about the Fresh Fit for Kids menu. The copy doesn’t explain what the menu is. For that, you’re supposed to get out your magnifying glass and look at the image of the sandwich, the apples, and the milk. How do you know it’s milk? Because you can read the word lowfat and sort of see a cow. You can’t read word “milk” because they’ve made the photo so small that it’s not legible.

Let’s examine the copy, line by line:

Encourage your kids to eat right and it’ll benefit them throughout their lives.

No one can argue with this. However, it doesn’t tell us anything about the product they’re selling.

Our SUBWAY FRESH FIT FOR KIDS fits into the American Heart Association’s approach to a healthy lifestyle.

They still haven’t told us what it is.

It’s an easy way to give kids a delicious meal they’ll love and the fuel they need to make the most of their day.

This is slightly descriptive, but it looks like Subway just doesn’t want to explain what they’re selling. 

This is a moot point because no one is going to stop to read the copy. They’re going to see the fries, maybe read the headline, and then turn the page.

Here’s a better headline:


It’s not clever. It’s not cute. But it communicates the name of the company, the name of the program, and explains the program in the half second that the reader is going to devote to the ad.

They should have made the image of the fries smaller or come up with something else. It looks so much like McDonald’s fries that it might as well have been an ad for McDonald’s. The copy at the bottom of the page should have been larger. The image of the food (what they are actually selling) should have been prominent.

The copy should have said something like this:

The SUBWAY FRESH FIT FOR KIDS menu offers six (or however many they have) great tasting sandwiches that are healthy and delicious.

Then mention tasty fruit snacks and nutritious drinks. Add a link to a web site where people can download discount coupons. Now you’re selling kids meals.

What they have in this ad isn’t selling anything to anyone.


2 responses to “Subway Fresh Fit…or McDonald’s?

  1. This may actually be a better ad for McDonald’s than McDonald’s own current ads. “Yum, giant McDonald’s fries.”

    Subway’s other couple of ads I’ve seen in this series aren’t exactly great either, but at least the other two were not seemingly advertising their competition, either.

  2. What magazine?