Firehouse Subs debuted its first national television advertising campaign earlier this year. Featuring the brand’s founding brothers, Robin and Chris Sorensen, the campaign seeks to highlight Firehouse Subs’ authentic roots.
“We used the founders because they’re truly firefighters—they’re from a family of first-responders—so that part of the brand’s story is very real,” says Kristen Majdanics, senior director of brand marketing for Firehouse Subs. “And of course it’s important to showcase the quality of our food and marry those two things together to show who we are and what we represent.”
Firehouse Subs began testing television ads in small markets to see how consumers perceived its founders. After receiving positive feedback, the company began filming the new ad at the end of November and aired its first spot, “Quality & Quantity,” on January 5.
The brand has 850 national locations and ambitious growth goals for 2015, Majdanics says, making the timing perfect to expand marketing efforts to entice both new customers and new franchisees.
“We’re large enough at this stage that we felt that national television was the right step for us to really amplify the brand,” she says. “This will introduce us to a lot of new people, and that’s pretty exciting. We hope to have 2,000 locations open by 2020, so the more people that are aware of us, the better for everyone.”
“Quality & Quantity” opens with the Sorensen brothers standing in a firehouse, reminiscing on the company’s beginnings. Majdanics credits the ad’s impact to the brothers’ charm and fraternal teasing.
“It seems like people are really connecting with the brothers and the message,” she says. “One woman told me that the ads reminded her of her own brothers and the way they interact. All of the components that we know are really compelling about them and about the brand came through.”
While the ad’s official numbers aren’t in, Majdanics is confident that it has successfully promoted the brand by connecting Firehouse Subs’ history and food in a way that was meaningful for the consumer.
The “Quality & Quantity” spot will continue to run through the end of the year in all markets with a Firehouse Subs location.
By Emily Byrd