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

Chipotle Will Debut "Farmed and Dangerous" Series on Hulu in February

Photo Credit: Hulu

Photo Credit: Hulu

We’ve told you about the importance of shifting your brand into a lifestyle one, and we’ve reported on the rise of native advertising, as well as WebTV (of course). But what happens when you meld these marketing opportunities together? Answer: Chipotle’s new comedic Hulu series ‘“Farmed and Dangerous,” a four-part show that debuts to the public on February 17th. 

The show, which you can preview here, is, as AdAge puts it, “a no-holds-barred look at the dark and twisted world of industrial agriculture, which goes to any length necessary to keep costs down and keep moving product.” But don’t get the concept confused with Chipotle’s successful branded Scarecrow video or app – the “Farmed and Dangerous” series is not animated, and just like any other show, has other plot lines taking place, as well. In our opinion, this is a genius move for Chipotle, as the brand will not exactly be featured in the film, but will make viewers aware of the movement that Chipotle is trying to drive with its “Food with Integrity” mantra. If more consumers emotionally connect with the message, Chipotle will be top-of-mind, potentially driving sales to some degree. Read More

5 Ways for Restaurants to Develop Loyal Relationships with Millennials

Millennials are a tough crowd to gauge. At roughly 80 million strong, this generation is the largest to date, which translates to a high volume of market share. Restaurant marketers are perking up to new millennial trends that relate to communication, generational habits, and how this group interacts with brands.

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Find out what your restaurant brand can do to better connect with millennials:

  • Go mobile. According to eMarketer, more than half of millennials own smartphones. Of them, 60 percent use their mobile devices to access the internet. By developing a solid mobile presence, you can position your brand to stay top-of-mind with millennial consumers. Read More