Subway Signs On For Joint Ad Campaign Across CollegeHumor and IFC
Subway isn’t just quietly adding guacamole to its menu. The sandwich chain is doing a big promotional deal with CollegeHumor and the IFC channel on a unique branded content program across both Web video and TV.
As part of the campaign, the Subway brand will be featured prominently during the IFC channel’s airing of the show “CollegeHumor’s Comedy Music Hall of Fame” on June 19, as well as within original videos tied to the “Hall of Fame” show on CollegeHumor.com.
CollegeHumor, which is producing the TV special via its in-house production group Big Breakfast, has also created additional editorial content themed around comedy and music, and has built a dedicated digital hub for Comedy Music Hall of Fame, which will also carry Subway ads, in part to hawk the chain’s addition of guacamole to the menu.
And as part of the elaborate deal, CollegeHumor plans to heavily promote the dual media outlet initiative through its various social media channels. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Executives from IFC and CollegeHumor said the complex arrangement was born out of meetings during the South by Southwest Interactive conference in 2014. After deciding that the concept of honoring comedic music along the lines of Weird Al Yankovic’s classic hits fit both IFC’s and CollegeHumor’s sensibilities, the two media firms started jointly pitching the show to advertisers during the TV upfronts in Spring 2014, eventually getting Subway on board.
“It took a minor miracle and a small heroic effort,” said Shane Rahmani, general manager of Electus Digital/CollegeHumor. “For us, this genre of comedy and music is core to our DNA, and we were hunting for a partner and looking for a way to shine a spotlight on [the genre]. We said to IFC, `We’re strong digitally. You have a TV audience. Let’s lock arms…and create an epic media event.’”
The event in this case will include a mock awards show on IFC next Friday hosted by comedian Paul F. Tompkins featuring performers ranging from Mr Yankovic himself to Tenacious D and the talent behind the YouTube hit franchise “Epic Rap Battles of History.”
To help drive viewership, CollegeHumor and IFC plan on posting promotional clips on YouTube all next week. An hour after the show airs on TV, the full special will be available on CollegeHumor.com.
Subway’s brand will be mentioned throughout the special. In addition, the two partners created several pieces of original content for Subway, including a segment in which a comedian was sent to a Subway location to record a song about guacamole. That clip will be featured during the IFC broadcast.
It’s all part of a unique partnership that looks to blend TV and Web video, without favoring one over the other.
“People that want to watch on TV will watch on TV,” said Blake Callaway, IFC’s executive vice president of marketing and digital media. “Or you can watch in chunks online. The sponsor is going go be embedded no matter where you see it. I don’t think you can do a more cross-platform, deeply integrated deal.”