Subway Sponsors Another Original WebTV Series, Proving the Power of Branded Entertainment for Restaurants

It was recently announced that Subway will be sponsoring a new, original WebTV series. The show, called “Summer with Cimorelli,” will feature the pop music girl group, six singing sisters that have risen to fame through YouTube. While Subway will not actually produce it, the sandwich brand will use it as a launchpad through sponsorship for branded entertainment — or, as some might call it, native advertising. For example, Subway products will be shown throughout the series, and the brand will make its way into the plot line at least once to produce top-of-mind promo to viewers. This will be Subway’s second go-around with original web show content, the first being a series called “The 4 to 9ers,” a web comedy that revolves around day shift workers at Subway.

In an age where Millennials — the largest generation, mind you — need to be marketed to for their eventual rise to top spending power in the U.S. (which is projected to happen in 2016), food and restaurant brands in particular are smartening up by positioning themselves as their own mini networks.

Chipotle is a great example with its “Farmed and Dangerous” series on Hulu. And interestingly enough, Chipotle held Q4 2013’s No. 1 spot in the Restaurant Social Media Index’s Overall Top 250 Restaurant Brands. Coming in at No. 1 this past quarter, Q1 2014, is Subway. Coincidence? Read More