Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Spong Monkeys?

Ever seen that newer Quizno's ad with those things that are singing that looks like potatoes with mouths? On today's Financial wire this story came out. To clear it all up, they are spong monkeys...

They're "spong monkeys." Really. That's what they are.
They look like deformed hamsters or cardboard gremlins, and they've been singing "We Love the Subs!" in an odd ad campaign for Quiznos Sub that began Feb. 1, on Super Bowl Sunday. One has on a pirate hat, the other is wearing a bowler. They both have bulging blue eyes and weird toothy grins.
What the heck is a "spong monkey?" It's a strange creature from the United Kingdom that popped up on the Internet not too long ago and became a pop culture icon across the pond. The creative brain trusts at the Martin Advertising Agency in Richmond, Va., stumbled upon them and pitched them as "spokes-things" to the sub corporation.
"The agency thought they'd be perfect, and they presented us with the idea of putting them in a commercial," says Stacie Lange, vice president of public relations for Quiznos. "The creatures are just so zany and crazy and random. They really make people stop and pay attention."
The spong monkeys certainly snagged Quiznos" corporate attention. The company hired Martin for its new campaign and licensed the wacky critters. Martin says it's too early to tell how successful the ads have been in terms of sub sales, but the buzz has been loud.
"We've had a lot of customers writing and calling, mostly people just wondering what are these creatures?" Lange says. "Some think they're hamsters, other people think they're squirrels. Some people even think they're potatoes."
Spong monkeys may have nothing to do with sub sandwiches (but then polar bears have nothing to do with Coca Cola, either), and they may look a bit disgusting to some folks, but they're becoming stars.
"They've generated lots of water-cooler conversation, and that kind of talk value puts us on consumers" radar," Lange says.
Besides the "We Love Subs" spot, another one began running recently alerting customers that Quiznos will accept "any coupon for anything" for a $1 discount on their subs.
Quiznos hasn't officially ordered more monkey ads beyond this month, but if the buzz continues to grow, who knows how far these computer-generated spong monkeys can go? Stuffed toys? Cartoon series?

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