Quizno's plans advertising encore


By Washington Post

In the three weeks after Quizno’s Corp.’s first Super Bowl ad last year, the submarine sandwich chain had double-digit sales increases at its 1,447 restaurants, a number that has since grown to 1,988.

For Quizno’s, like many companies that bought ad spots during the Super Bowl, the marketing strategy is mostly Hail Mary — it’s a risky one-shot deal with a potentially big payoff. Last year, few knew what Quizno’s was before the Super Bowl, said Brooksy Smith, the company’s vice president for operations and marketing. The ad was a way to get the Quizno’s name in front of 43 million households and to kick off the year’s ad campaign, which carried the slogan “Toasted tastes better.”

This year’s Super Bowl is being broadcast Sunday by ABC, a division of Walt Disney Co., which reports that fewer than six of the game’s 61 commercial spots remain to be sold. That’s ahead of last year’s pace, when a Fox-televised game struggled to fill its commercial slots nearly up to game time, as the depressed, post-9/11 advertising market was reluctant to pony up the $2.2 million asking price for a 30-second ad. Fox ended up discounting its commercial time, which ABC said it will not do.

The game will feature at least 30 advertisers, including the Warner Bros. motion picture studio, hyping its twin “Matrix” sequels; rival Internet job sites Monster and HotJobs.com; MyFico.com, a credit report company; Sara Lee Corp.-owned Hanes, which will team Michael Jordan and martial arts film star Jackie Chan; Pepsi, which is likely to roll out Destiny’s Child Beyonce Knowles as its new spokes-singer, bouncing Britney Spears; three ads from Sony Pictures and at least one from Sony Electronics; and AT&T Wireless Services Inc., which will follow last year’s baffling ads featuring belly buttons as a way to illustrate wireless connections. (Get it? Cut umbilical cords?)

The NFL rejected an ad from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, saying that league rules prohibit accepting any ad that refers to sports betting.