Sandwich brand Quiznos took to the blank canvas for its latest lifestyle marketing move, dubbed Qanvas by Quiznos. In conjunction with San Diego’s Comic-Con, the chain reached out to 50 of the city’s local artists to create original works of art on its sandwich wrappers. The results were put up for a silent auction July 24 to benefit ArtReach San Diego, an organization that provides art-education workshops in schools throughout San Diego County.

“As the pioneer of the toasted sub and in the spirit of Comic Con, … we wanted to play off of transformation,” says Chris Ruszkowski, vice president of advertising and marketing. “The Quiznos sub goes through the toaster and transforms into something better, so [we asked,] How could we take something like a wrapper, which is thrown away, and transform it into something better?”

To make it all happen, brand executives connected with a local art curator who facilitated collecting submissions, Ruszkowski says. Participating artists included well-known professional skateboarder Steve Caballero and artist Bernard Chang, who is known for his work on comics like “X-Men,” “Superman,” and “Wonder Woman.” Though artists were given some guidelines, the pieces that came back for the auction full of creativity and variety, Ruszkowski says.

“There were some traditional comics,” he says. “There also are various pieces where the artists turned a sub into a superhero or had characters coming off the wrapper canvas.”

Making the event a charitable one was key, Ruszkowski adds, and Quiznos executives saw an opportunity to make a lasting impact on the local level with ArtReach San Diego.

“We’re not officially in Comic Con; we rented a little space next to Comic Con. It’s our first time tying the brand to art,” Ruszkowski says, adding that the brand will invest in similar initiatives in the future. “The ultimate message is that we’re looking to help make the world a better place, and this is a small step in a small space, but definitely one that is fun and will give back.”

By Tamara Omazic

News, Sandwiches, Quiznos