The Creatures From the Sandwich Shop
Behind the singing rodents in the Quiznos ad.
Also, believe it or not, there is some classic marketing strategy going on here. As others have pointed out, this spot—unlike shock-spots with, say, flatulent horses—actually centers on product attributes. We're told that Quiznos subs are tasty, crunchy, warm, and toasted. We're introduced to the concept of the pepper bar, which one imagines is a bar stocked with a menagerie of peppers. (Not really my thing, but still, a selling point of sorts.)
Last week, I wrote about spokes-humanoids and the value of creating a brand icon. The spongmonkeys clearly fit in the former category, but they may never grow into the latter. "We don't necessarily have those kinds of aspirations for the spongmonkeys," says Hall, completely deadpan. And that's OK. Not every spokes-being is built for the long haul. But I'll miss the spongmonkeys when they're gone.
Grade: A. You're either gonna give this one an A or an F, and I respect those of you who go with F. The spongmonkeys are no doubt divisive characters. But what can I say? I love the subs! They got a pepper bar!
Seth Stevenson is a frequent contributor to Slate. He is the author of Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World.