Update #2: Since many people don’t seem to believe that Quiznos didn’t play a role, or at least didn’t have an understanding that the video was being made, I placed a call to Playboy to see if they could shed some light on Quiznos involvement (or lack of involvement) in regards to this video. Here is the statement they gave me:

“In tough economic times, more people than ever are turning to fast food options as a way to stretch their paycheck.  Playboy.com has taken note of this trend with its own ‘video salute’ to lunchtime. The site’s editors recognized that Quiznos seems to have a good sense of humor about their brand, and didn’t hesitate in selecting them as one of the best bargains out there.”

When pressed with specific questions about if Quiznos had knowledge of the video’s release or gave tacit approval of the video, Playboy did not directly address my question, but simply replied with this statement:

“Playboy.com is responsible for the video and put it together as its ‘salute to lunchtime’.”

Does the mystery continue?

Update: Confusion is swirling online as to whether or not Quiznos had any involvement in making this video.  We knew all along that it was produced by Playboy, but the assumption from most seemed to be that the prominent featuring of a Quiznos sub made clear Quiznos was part of it. AdAge reports that they have spoken with Quiznos, and the company has denied any involvement in the ad. However, many bloggers seem skeptical.

Jezebel:

“It seems unlikely that Playboy independently produced a viral video advertising their sandwiches.”

The Denver Egotist:

“We’re calling bullshit, especially after watching that creepy sex-addled talking oven spot they’ve been running.”

Adrants:

“We can’t help but wonder just how many people over at Quiznos are loving (even hoping) this thing gets as much exposure as it’s getting. We still think there’s some shenanigans going on here.”

Cafe Society:

“We say bullshit. We’ve seen those creepy mutant hamster commercials and “Put it in me” talking-oven spots, so we know for a fact that the folks at Quiznos are sick enough to make this ad happen.”

Original Post:

Oh. My. God. I cannot believe that Quiznos made this ad.  First off, for those of you unfamiliar, this ad title/concept is based off the popular viral internet video “2 girls, 1 cup.” If you haven’t seen the video before, don’t bother looking it up. I can’t even begin to describe it to you in any level of detail without losing half my readers, but lets just say that it involves 2 women, eating, a cup, human excrement, and vomit. Enough. I don’t even want to say more.

Well some marketing genius over at Quiznos decided that a phrase (2 girls, 1 cup) that most users of the internet associate with one of the most disgusting, revolting and abhorrent things they have ever seen in their lives, should also be associated with the Quiznos brand name! Yay! Think Quiznos! Think human feces and vomit!

2-girls-1-sub1

The execution of the ad is no less appalling than the fact that some moron even thought up this idea in the first place.  Two months ago, we asked in good fun if the new Padma Lakshmi Hardee’s commercial was “Soft Core Porn.” Ha! We were just joshing you. Compared to that ad, this one is like Deep Throat 7 – Tonsil’s Revenge. We also wondered if the Stacker 2 “6 hour power” ad was the most sexually explicit ad ever. Ha! That ad might as well have featured bunny rabbits and snowflakes compared to this one.

A YouTube video of the commercial is below the fold. I will tell you that while there is no nudity, this ad is about as NSFW as it can possibly be short of nudity or actual sexual intercourse – pay attention to those headphones people, there is plenty of sound! Be sure to keep reading on for my full thoughts on why this is such a horrendously awful ad.

So we have a few problems here. For starters, readers of this blog know that I think Quiznos sandwiches taste disgusting. I was already associating them with excrement and vomit. Now Quiznos has basically taken the next step and formalized my suspicions: even people in their marketing department can see the link between the taste of human excrement and vomit and the taste of their sandwiches! Otherwise, how would they have thought up this ad?

The next issue, of course, is that the two models, 21 year old Kari Nautique, and Playboy playmate Hiromi Oshima, are making noises, and writhing around, as if they are mid-orgasm while eating the sandwich. Not to mention deliberately allowing the “mayo” to become smeared all over their faces from their messy eating. I don’t even think we need to broach the subject of the phallic shape of Quizno’s sandwiches.  Oh yeah, and of course, they are sitting on a bench wearing bikinis while eating the sandwich, because why wouldn’t they be?

Now as a 28 year-old male, I’m not complaining about a hot 21 year-old in a bikini. Besides, sex sells. I get it, and I don’t have a problem with that. But who is the target market for this ad? Obviously not women. Probably not old people.   I’m guessing 18 – 34 year old males is the exact target demographic they are going for.  Well, I fall into that demographic.  When I’m watching an ad that is trying to sell me something using sex, I should either be turned on by it or excited by the idea of watching it. Watching this ad, I felt neither of those things. I felt gross, icky and uncomfortable just watching it from the privacy of my own desk and computer screen.  That’s me, a 28 year-old male. Imagine how offended/uncomfortable a woman of any age or a parent might be when they see this? Oh, and I never even mentioned the fact that Quiznos made this ad in collaboration with Playboy.

Now I could make some bold proclaimation like “I will never eat at Quizno’s again!” but that would be meaningless, because I never eat at Quizno’s anyways, because their food is horrid.  But if you are a parent, and you ever take your kid to Quizno’s, stop doing so immediately. Seriously. I’m not into drawing lines for how far advertising should go, but this ad makes anti-line-drawers suddenly realize that yep, now that I’ve seen this, I know the definition of crossing the line, and this is it.

So just to re-cap the stupidity of Quizno’s on this:

  • Name our ad after the most disgusting viral video ever? Check.
  • Offend anyone over the age of 35 and probably almost any female? Check.
  • Make even your target demo of 18-34 year old males feel uncomfortable? Check.

and finally……

  • Associate your food with BOTH human excrement AND vomit? CHECK.

Well, you did it Quiznos. You made possibly the most appaling, offensive commercial possible. Now thousands, if not millions, of people who weren’t already doing so will begin to associate your food with vomit and shit. Reapeat after me: Quiznos = vomit & shit, vomit & shit, vomit & shit. Well done Quiznos marketing department, well done.

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43 Responses

  1. brian7905@aol.com'
    Brian

    I also fall into the key demographic and I found nothing appealing about that ad. Just thinking about the 2 girls, 1 cup video brought back bad memories. I was starting to question what might be in that sandwich.

    Like you, I never found Quiznos appealing. I went once when a chain opened in my town and haven’t been back.

    Reply
  2. princessdec1979@yahoo.com'
    Kelly

    I am 29, female, and until this point, liked Quiznos subs. I know, you don’t – opinions make the world go round.

    I am not only offended, but yes, it brings back horrible memories of the 1 Cup disturbance.

    I eat Quiznos like a human. Not a whore. Attention or otherwise.

    Reply
  3. cary.a.james@gmail.com'
    Cary

    Why? Why does this ad exist? Quiznos was awful to begin with.

    Now I’ll never eat it. Ever. Fantastic job Quiznos.

    Reply
  4. wouldibuyitagain@yahoo.com'
    wouldibuyitagain

    I too am in the demographic. I agree, not a turn on. It appears to be a desperate attempt to follow Hardee’s. Thickburgers and commercials brought them back from the dead and created a brand for them. It is bad enough to watch, but add the audio…jeez. All time low for Quizno’s, and I already thought they have hit bottom.

    Reply
  5. raiders757@yahoo.com'
    Raiders757

    That was just pathetic, and I say that having seen it with no sound.

    First of all. Those two women look like whores, so they aren’t even attractive at all. Maybe they would be, if they didn’t look so fake and cakes o nthe face makeup so much.

    Second if all. When do women, other than being at a beach or pool, just hang around eating in their skimpy bathing suits?

    Thirdly. That commercial is just plain foul. I’m not even close to being the conservative type, but that pushes it just a little too far.

    Epic Fail

    Reply
  6. brian7905@aol.com'
    Brian

    Is Quiznos serious? There’s no way they weren’t at least involved somehow in this. Do they expect us to believe that Playboy put two women in conservative bikinis (by Playboy standards) and had them eat a Quiznos sub in a suggestive manner?

    Quiznos probably thought this would make them cool and hip but is now running as fast as they can from this garbage after it recieved a horrible response. Step up and take responsibility for your poor decisions.

    Reply
  7. yummy@freezerburns.com'
    Gregory Ng: The Frozen Food Master

    This is a horrible ad for all the above reasons. But this is also a typical tactic for a brand that is in desperate need of attention.

    I am in the ad industry and I cant tell you how many times a client comes to you and says, “i want to do something like _____” They dont want innovation, they want a clone and they want to copy success just like that.

    I agree that there is no way Quiznos didnt have something to do with this and even if they didnt, they should not just be distancing themselves, they should be looking for a cease and desist.

    You just don’t copy something like 2 girls 1 cup. really stupid.

    Reply
  8. justin.shatraw@gmail.com'
    shatraw

    also, way to call playboy, eick. i have a feeling it’s not the first time you’ve done so…

    Reply
  9. brian7905@aol.com'
    Brian

    Even if Playboy is being up front about this ad there’s still no way in hell Quiznos didn’t know about it or approve it. That’s a gigantic Quiznos logo on the side of that bag and it was strategically placed where it can be well seen. I have a hard time believing Playboy would do that if Quizons had no knowledge of it or didn’t pay Playboy for the placement.

    Reply
  10. joneill@thisismyurl.com'
    Josh

    So… someone… with power in the marketing department of Quiznos… had to say “This idea will work”…

    While watching the 1:43 long ad, I was thinking “Wow, this is so bad… it’s funny because it’s really lame… doesn’t make me want to eat a sandwich though.”

    What’s next? Chauvinistic ads for fast food?

    Reply
  11. davislad38@aol.com'
    Ms. Lake

    Ok you state that the ad targets me but if a sandwich could make me feel like that hell I would run five minutes down the street to get one right now.
    I have no idea what sex has to do with a sub but I love quiznos and I am going to keep eating their salads and sandwiches.

    Reply
  12. goozlet@hotmail.com'
    Uncle Willie

    This ad is awesome. Loved every second of it. It shows two hot girls enjoying a very good sandwich. I love Quiznos. I just think that they are a little expensive comp0ared to other sub sandwiches.
    I’ll be eating there more often now, after seeing this advertisement.

    Reply
  13. finister1@aol.com'
    Big Buff

    this ad is great. I bet the women complaining are a bunch of fat pigs. If more women ate this way, I would go into Quiznos everyday.

    Reply
  14. terrence.curran@Gmail.com'
    Zen Warrior

    I think that the indignation is overblown. These opinions mean nothing to the thousands of people who put their idealism aside for a profit every day. Compared to the Wall Street Whores who stole all our money, this is two girls trying to make a buck. As a male, how can you begin to project your feelings on all women of whatever age. Stick to food.

    Reply
  15. HECraig@gmail.com'
    Heather

    It just wasn’t enough of anything for me. Not gross enough, not camp enough, not hot enough. I pointed this out to a friend and he called me a jaded perv.

    Still, if they’d gotten into a fight over it, and ripped each others clothes off…. *then* I’d be wanting Quiznos. Right now? meh. weaksauce.

    Reply
  16. tonyw1061@aol.com'
    Tony

    What is more appalling is the fact that the media wants to make a big deal out of this and they end up doing is adding to the promotion. This becomes a marketing genious because they don’t even have to pay for air time on a major network. The frenzy caused by the media and all of the stories and national attention make this advertisement gold. Call it disgusting, call it porn, the media and anyone reporting or writing a column on this issue is only helping to promote it which makes you worse because of the spotlight and further promotion you put on this issue. I can’t believe you have the nerve to point your finger at the commercial and then the media gives it national attention. The media is disgusting as well.

    Reply
  17. mishi@therestofmylifesofar.net'
    Mishi

    Wow. I had no idea this commerical existed until I saw it on your blog. All I can say is, thank goodness my work computer doesn’t have sound, because I’d hate to be fired for sandwich porn!

    This commerical is just…creepy!

    Reply
  18. Drive571@aol.com'
    PJ

    Jeezus Quizno’s. It was bad enough that you discontinued the smoked turkey… now every time I look at the Quizno’s next to my office you want me to think of eating feces?

    Can’t wait for the “Toasty Goatse” campaign… :-(

    Reply
  19. jonathan@cramers.com'
    Jonathan Cramer

    Lol! This ad is awesome. It doesn’t make me want to eat quizno’s though. It makes me want to eat shit – yum! I’m gonna go do that, brb.

    Reply
  20. dbertrand1026@cox.net'
    dylan

    While not knowing what 2 girls 1 cup was, I watched the 2 girls 1 sub clip and loved it. I later found the 2 girls 1 cup clip and it made me think, who looks for this kind of vid? Really, if you knew what the 2 girls 1 cup vid was before you viewed the 2 girls 1 sub vid, what does that say about you?
    Never ate from Quiznos, but I will now

    Reply
  21. evanafter@gmail.com'
    dru

    “Big Buff // May 25, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    this ad is great. I bet the women complaining are a bunch of fat pigs. If more women ate this way, I would go into Quiznos everyday.”

    Seriously? Did you REALLY just say that?

    Possibly – POSSIBLY – if the women involved in that kind of eating were super-uber-ridiculously hot, then yes. But for the most part, I have to say that it would get REALLY annoying listening to her moan and gasp over a sandwich when I BET she wouldn’t be half as enthused over me.

    Also: Can you say “dumb fuck” Seriously. “I bet they’re fat pigs, obviously attractive women all love to be gawked at and treated as though they’re a piece of property.”

    Flame, i realize, but man, c’mon.

    Reply

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