Subway Restaurants will break its second online promotion for children on Aug. 27 as part of a push for its Kids' Pak Meal.
The promotion will run through Oct. 8 in conjunction with Subway partner Frito-Lay, a snack maker. Children are encouraged to use Ploids — Frito-Lay currency — found in Kids' Pak Meals to bid for auctions online.
“Subway becomes like a destination to get a Ploid,” said Joanne Vermilya, promotional services supervisor at the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, Milford, CT. “Kids collect this, so we become kind of hip. That's what we're hoping for, more awareness for our Subway Kids' Pak Meal.”
The promotion will come nearly three months after Subway, in partnership with AOL Time Warner's Cartoon Network, kicked off a game on subway.com based on the cable network's “Sheep in the Big City” show.
In that promotion, children who played the interactive game saw “Sheep” toys popping up. These toys were found in Kids' Pak Meals, making the online game a traffic driver to Subway stores in the United States and Canada.
The latest online promotion, handled by Fuel North America, New York, targets the same preschool and 4- to 8-year-old audience.
For this promotion, however, Subway Kids' Pak Meals in the United States will substitute a Cheetos Fun Bag instead of the usual cookie. Other ingredients — a sandwich on a deli roll, a small drink and a toy — stay the same, selling for around $2.49.
Each Kids' Pak Meal will include one of four different Chester Cheetah toys. These toys are Astro Chester, Chester's Cool Shades, Cheesy Rider and Chester Paper Crimper.
The toy contains a secret code and directions that tell children how to access a special Subway auction Web page within ePloids.com. The special Subway auction page can only be accessed with the secret code, which is equal to one Ploid.
Prizes offered on the Subway auction page include radios, pen voice recorders, cell phones and bikes.
EPloids.com is part of Frito-Lay's Planet Lunch program. Ploids also can be earned by buying Frito-Lay snacks and redeeming them for prizes on ePloids.com and on the special Subway auction page.
Participating Subway restaurants nationwide will support the latest promotion with point-of-sale materials.
Vermilya said this online promotion is an awareness-building effort, since Subway does not spend as much on children's meals as rival restaurant chains do.
“Quick-service restaurants are so focused on getting kids in,” Vermilya said. “Kids' meals is not a big focus in advertising for us compared with McDonald's and Burger King. We're not as focused on kids' meals as they are, but we try to keep in the game and when opportunities are presented to us, like Frito-Lay's promotion, we think it's good for us.”