CategoryG06. Breakthrough on a Budget
Idea Creation VAYNERMEDIA Singapore, SINGAPORE
Media Placement MEDIACOM Singapore, SINGAPORE
Post Production VAYNERMEDIA Singapore, SINGAPORE


Name Company Position
Avery Akkineni VaynerMedia APAC Head of Agency
VJ Anand VaynerMedia APAC Head of Creatice APAC
Steffi Lee VaynerMedia APAC Junior Copywriter
Joscelyn Heng VaynerMedia APAC Art Director
Jon Ng VaynerMedia APAC Copywriter
Raun Anand VaynerMedia APAC Senior Copywriter
Charissa Kow VaynerMedia APAC Content Specialist
Will Beale VaynerMedia APAC Associate Creative Director
QH Yeoh VaynerMedia APAC Account Director

Why is this work relevant for Media?

Creating a budget-friendly media strategy for a Subway campaign that makes fun of its own lack of marketing budget, meant we focused on creating a huge quantity of content without having to spend so much on paid media - while still maximising reach and impressions with our Gen Z and Millennial audiences across TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Innity. By creating funny TikTok and Facebook ads, we captured their attention and shifted their perception of Subway - from boring to refreshing. By boosting specific trend jacking posts, we were able to be smart and timely with our budget as well.


Brief: To launch a new Subway sandwich, the Meat Stack, across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. A sub with tons of meat at a minimal cost, ensuring greater value as the Sub that was worth every dollar. But the bigger problem? Subway is close to invisible when it comes to marketing and creating compelling social content, with the brand being perceived as boring. Objective: To increase sales, change brand perception (“make us cooler, please!”) by refreshing their social approach, and win over a share of voice from the bigger boys like KFC, McDonald's, Burger King, with a fraction of their budget. So we made our value-for-money our weapon and created an advertising campaign that knew it had no budget. Everything was even designed on PowerPoint. Because the larger reality was that while every brand in 2020 was slashing their marketing budgets, only we were willing to talk about it!

Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)

Launching the Meat Stack as the sub worth every dollar, we decided to play off of Gen Z's and Millennials love for humour, hatred for advertising and 2020's effects on marketing budgets, to create the simple tagline: "Less Marketing, More Meat." Creating a lo-fi, no-budget campaign entirely created in PowerPoint (that looks like it was made by an intern), because Subway spent the entire marketing budget filling the Meat Stack full of different kinds of meat. Sooooooo much meat. All to give you more bang for your buck as a consumer, whilst giving Art Directors an eye-sore. This meta humour paid off well with our audiences, as people organically started sharing our posts - even starting a Reddit thread to discuss our bus stop ads! What kind of Gen Z’s even do that?

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Our strategy? To just be honest. Because we didn't even have budget for this campaign (let alone money for a Strategy Director's input). Plus, we knew that connecting to Gen Z's and Millennials' love for meta- humour and meme-worthy content with no-frills design, created a sense of authenticity and a fresh way of looking at value that Subway was sorely missing. By putting the customer, and their love for meat and great-tasting sandwiches first, we took the lack of marketing budget and twisted it into a heroic talking point that put Subway in their good books. And lightened up their 2020.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

This 360-degree PowerPoint-designed creative campaign launched across digital, socials and OOH, engaging on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Innity, from 30 Sept 2020 to 5 Jan 2021. In each of the markets (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines), we were able to create a huge quantity of funny, trend jacking social posts, thanks to our no-frills design, by simply tweaking copy to always tickle their funny bones. Our ads captured the public's eye and appetite - as our followers even made lo-fi ads in reply to ours, using PowerPoint. This led to our campaign inspiring other brands like Circles.Life to hop on the low-cost bandwagon. Even our bus stop ads went viral because we could only afford half a bus stop ad - and soon we were all over Reddit, and being picked up by the Incumbent Agency. Making ours the most famous bus stop ad of 2020.

List the results (30% of vote)

Launching the Meat Stack with our approach of “Less Marketing, More Meat”, we garnered more than 16.9M total impressions, with over 2M total reach (paid). Ad recall on Facebook was high, tracking at 4.9pts, signifying that the campaign left an impression with males and females in the 25 - 35 age group, successfully reaching and changing their brand perception of Subway as a younger, fresher, more relevant brand. We also attained a reach of 7.26M (paid and organic) in the Singapore and Malaysia markets via FB alone, with cost-per-thousand coming in at lower than the benchmark. Best of all, in terms of sales, the Meat Stack contributed 10.1% to total unit sales between Nov - Dec 2020. Comparatively, LTO sales in the same period in 2019 only contributed 6.2% - showing an improvement in unit sales contribution - especially during a time where sales would have been impacted by COVID-19.