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Sandwich shops battle over price

Fast food retailers are fighting for con­sumer attention in the weakened economy. Quiznos, Wendy’s and Domino’s Pizza have all recently launched campaigns vying to get into consumers’ ever-shrinking pockets.

Taking on Subway’s $5 Footlong cam­paign, which launched last March, sandwich chain Quiznos recently lowered its prices and launched a new integrated ad campaign to promote its newly priced menu, which includes 20 subs priced under $5.

“We did research and found that people love our food,” said Rebecca Steinfort, EVP of marketing at Quiznos. “We wanted to make it easier for them to come in and eat.”

The multichannel campaign includes e-mail, banner ads, TV and print compo­nents. There also will be a social network­ing marketing addition to the effort next month. The TV creative, which will air nationally for several weeks, features three chefs interviewing customers in a man-on-the-street style. The interviewers highlight that these sandwiches can be purchased at Quiznos for under $5.

“Five dollars has become the benchmark for what people want to spend on lunch,” Steinfort said. “While we are known for good quality food, we wanted to let more people know that Quiznos also has a huge variety of affordable menu items.”

For Wendy’s, it’s all about the $1 price point. Wendys.com features the tagline, “3 waaaay better sandwiches for just $.99.” The “3conomics” campaign highlights three sandwiches for 99 cents on the homepage and clicks through to more items on the Wendy’s value menu.

Domino’s Pizza’s new campaign, devel­oped by ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky, promotes its Oven Baked Sandwiches. The campaign, which runs through late January, plays on a recent national taste test in which consumers preferred Domino’s sandwiches to Subway’s by a two to one margin.

“When we decided to launch sandwiches, we had to consider how consumers would view our sandwich offering, given we had spent 50 years primarily as a pizza com­pany,” said Karen Kaiser, Domino’s director of national advertising, on the challenge of taking on Subway and other entrenched brands in the sandwich category.

Due to the taste test victory, Domino’s is giving away free Oven Baked Sandwiches to the first 1,000 consumers to contact them, to encourage consumers throughout the country to take the challenge themselves.

The first 1,000 consumers to send their name and address to [email protected] will receive a gift card for any one of the four Oven Baked Sandwiches.

“In this economic environment, consum­ers are being more careful and judicious where they spend their money, even in the case of a small purchase, like a sandwich,” Kaiser added.

For Quiznos, it’s not about the particular product. Its campaign highlights the entire menu, as the goal is really to highlight the low pricing options.

“We’re really focused on the consumer. Customers want what they want,” said Steinfort. “Some people want chicken and some want beef; some want very flavorful sauces and some prefer blander choices.”

Subway representatives could not be reached for comment by press time.

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