Eclipse Ecosystem

A blog devoted to promoting the Eclipse ecosystem

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Accidental Pitchman - Subway's "Jared" came from the community

"Jared the Subway Guy" has become synonymous with healthy eating, weight loss and, of course, linking Subway to those two things. A great article in Rake Mag (and also picked up in many newspapers over the past few weeks) shows that Jared as a "brand" is likely worth over $600 MILLION per year. YIKES.

At first glance you might assume that this powerful brand and icon came from an exerted traditional marketing effort from Subway. Not true! Friend's of Jared got him a mention in a Men's Health Magazine. Chicago franchisees saw the mention and decided to do a little bit of local marketing. The national marketing team was focusing on hiring famous fitness experts for a promotional push and were completely overtaken by the community that built up around Jared. Once Ophra, Today and Good Morning America came on the scene, the momentum was unstoppable.

It just goes to show the value of community and being part of the conversation. Maybe I'm just being skeptical, but I think if the "Jared" brand was found and promoted in a traditional manner, it would have had a quick boom and bust. I think a huge part of the success was how it grew organically, how it was the community that decided it was cool, and how Subway has mostly let Jared do his own thing.

- Don


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