What Is Wrong With Quiznos?

Seriously, what’s up with them? Their new ad features an oven that begs a Quiznos employee to “put it in me, Scott,” as the camera pans over what it calls a Toasty Torpedo. There’s also a subliminal flash of a periscope jutting up from the flames at one point, as our eagle-eyed reader Bbender pointed out.

We know commercials have to be edgy and all to get noticed these days, but this one just sort of falls off the edge into Makes No Sense land—unless some consultant figured out that equating toasted sandwiches with Scott bangin’ the oven somehow increases sales.

Update: Here’s the Schick Quattro commercial for ladyparts that someone mentions in the comments below, courtesy of Mark.

Update 2: Laura pointed us to this blog, where a guy estimates that the $4 toasty torpedo is approximately 75% smaller than the $5 Subway sandwich it’s intended to compete against. We hope Quizno’s next ad for the toasty torpedo argues that size doesn’t matter—it’s how good it tastes.

Comments

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  1. dresden says:

    Yeah, the thing is called a “toasty torpedo”. Not sure what their target market is on this one, but wang hungry ovens are probably lining up at the door.

    • Chris Walters says:

      @dresden: They should put them in blue wrappers and do a tie-in with the Watchmen movie. Yes, I am a marketing genius.

      • HogwartsAlum says:

        @Chris Walters:

        Ok, thanks for making me almost guffaw loudly in my deathly quiet office!

        I thought this commercial was creepy.

        • TVarmy says:

          @HogwartsAlum: “Not doing that again; I got burned” (glances directly downward)

          “We both enjoyed that.”

          I first thought it was merely saying he burned his finger, implying the oven has a bit of an S&M kink, but then I watched it more carefully and saw the glance downward. Frankly, I don’t want to think about the possibility of people serving me food putting their genitals anywhere near the food prep devices, and now Quiznos has that image stuck in my head. I was thinking I’d try one of their subs one day, but not anymore.

    • Keavy_Rain says:

      @dresden: If one wanted to, one could convince a Christian family watchdog group that this is about sex and have the commercial pulled from the air.

      I mean, its pretty obvious that the sandwich is a phallic symbol and the oven represents the lady parts. The whole “Put it in me, Scott” line only reinforces my theory.

      After all, someone must protect the children from these evil admen seeking to push their liberal, free love, hippie ideas about casual sex. Apparently that someone has to be me.

      • dresden says:

        @Keavy_Rain: But it’s the perfect teaching tool for that sect… You put your “thing” in the oven, and it burns. We all know they’re not going to condone the use of “oven mits”.

      • Boogaloo2 says:

        @Keavy_Rain: Actually you could go even further & throw in homosexuality since that oven has a man’s voice.

  2. The Porkchop Express says:

    To be perfectly honest, if I liked Quizno’s this would make me want to go get a sub. Just because they had the balls and/or lack of sense to make this commercial.

    “but it hurts” awesome.

    • chauncy that billups says:

      @Lo-Pan: It seems to me like they mixed up porn dialog with a desire to make the oven sound like HAL-9000. Problems: the idiot writers named the employee “Scott” instead of “Dave”, and….the dialog STILL sounds like a porn movie.

    • ivanthemute says:

      @Lo-Pan: I’ve only eaten once at Quiznos, and it was after their Spongemonkey commercials. Their food may be crap, but their ad guys are freakin’ hilarious.

    • Benguin says:

      @Lo-Pan: Didn’t Quiznos also have an ad a few years back with some chick saying something along the lines of “More meat! That’s what women love!” ?

      I think the ad is funny/ballsy, but not exactly sure if it’s appropriate. As humorous as I find the implied sexual relationship between a man and a sandwich oven, I’m not sure that’s it’s actually necessary,

      • ScottRose says:

        @Benguin: Bah, it’s necessary enough. And it’s not inappropriate because the only way you can understand the humour is if your mind is already at least a little bit in the gutter.

        Though making the sandwiches phallic and having the oven personified as a male makes me wonder exactly how large a demographic they were shooting for. (PUN!)

  3. redskull says:

    Yeah, I saw that one. I didn’t get offended and faint or anything, but it did kind of push the boundaries. I did like how after the oven says, “I want you to do something for me, Scott,” the guy says, “Uh-uh. Not doing that again. That burned!” as he looks down at his crotch.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if some group demands this commercial be pulled from the air soon.

    • ludwigk says:

      @redskull: The toaster oven’s rebuttal is just as good, in the context of this sick, twisted advert:

      “We both enjoyed that.”

      • LastVigilante says:

        @ludwigk: They changed it! I just started seeing the commercial again on TV, and instead of “Uh-uh. Not doing that again. That burned!” crotch reference, the guy says, “Uh-uh. I’m not wiping you with my shammy again.”

        And then, instead of the “say it sexy” the toaster says “say it with passion.” I guess they decided to preemptively pull the naughtiness.

        • TVarmy says:

          @LastVigilante: Yeah, I saw the ads passively on TV (roommate was watching while I was doing homework), and seeing the youtube vid, I’m surprised I didn’t notice that much innuendo the first time. The new dialogue explains that. A direct reference to the crotch makes it a lot creepier, especially because of the perennial story about apathetic employees putting their pubic hair in a customer’s food.

        • ReverendLoki says:

          @LastVigilante: I noticed the change as well. But then I heard the original again since then, and thought about when the commercials aired. It looks like they are actively airing the two different versions, using the “cleaner” of the two during the day, and the “naughtier” version at night. At least that’s how it appears to me… they may also be accounting for broadcast vs cable as well (my own sampling is not broad enough to be statistically significant in making such conclusions).

          • WorldHarmony says:

            @ReverendLoki: I just saw the ad after midnight on a cable station and both times the ad played it was the cleaned up version. Makes me think the homoerotic version is not being played much (or at all) any longer.

    • kaceetheconsumer says:

      @redskull: It’s not about offense for me, just being grossed out at the idea of eating from a restaurant where there might be employee spooge all over the oven. Ewwwwwwwwwwwww.

      Call me crazy, but I like my food unfucked.

  4. citking says:

    I got a coupon for a free one and just tossed it. Not a huge fan of theirs – They’ve always been over priced and only brought down their $8.50+ footlong subs when Subway made theirs $5. Now Quiznos charges $5 for like an 8 inch. Pretty sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      @citking: This is one market where I support the local shops. No franchise makes a good grinder, IMO. I have a place nearby that I get 2 rediculously huge grinders for $15. Over a foot long and with about 1.5-2 inches of fresh sliced meat. Beats the crap out of any chain.

      Quiznos grinders are like a finger sandwich, and Subway sandwiches are all bread.

  5. Traveshamockery says:

    I’m guessing the gay bread-fetish oven demographic is eating this promotion up.

  6. cuchanu says:

    It’s pretty much the same type of commercial we see all the time, only a little more gay. BTW if I was gay I’d totally do that guy while I was eating a Tasty Torpedo. But I’m not so this advertisement has no effect on me.

  7. eightfifteen says:

    Why does the dude look at his crotch when he says “That burned”? What did he do that burned? Did the burn come a few days later when he went to urinate?

  8. Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

    Let me guess – another reason for the Quizno’s franchisees to complain about corporate. Here, it is justified.

    Gross.

  9. Brandon Zeman says:

    didn’t see the periscope..

  10. Saboth says:

    I thought this myself. Also when the oven mentions getting rubbed down. I’d probably actually like the commercial if the oven had a female voice however.

    I don’t have a problem with the commercial, but fudge packing imagery while holding a sub tube doesn’t really make my mouth water.

  11. Stream Of Consciousness says:

    Wow…weird.

  12. nataku8_e30 says:

    If you want to criticize a commercial for not making sense, maybe you should start with the skittles commercials? At least those are entertaining, though. This just reminds me why I don’t like quiznos.

  13. Bradley Ankrom says:

    I saw that the other day and wondered how it made it to air. Not offensive, just weird.

  14. Truthie says:

    Almost as obvious as the lady-razor ad with all the freshly trimmed bushes in it (and I mean that the ad in question LITERALLY had a bunch of freshly trimmed hedges in it).

  15. chrisjames says:

    Spongemonkeys

  16. ludwigk says:

    Can we get a re-shoot with a breathless, orgasmic, female-voiced toaster oven? That way, I could be aroused in addition to being confused.

  17. OneTrickPony says:

    This is the central scrutinizer… you have just destroyed one model xqj-37 nuclear powered pan-sexual roto-plooker and you’re gonna have to pay for it!

  18. dresden says:

    @Chris Walters: You know, sadly, it took me like 5 minutes for that to sink in… It’s Friday, I’m tired, and I guess it’s not a bad thing that the last thing on my mind is Dr. Manhattan’s penis.

  19. Dave Rubin says:

    Am I the only one that sees a reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey?

  20. JohnDeere says:

    sex sells. or did you forget.

  21. thisisnotkathy says:

    I guess I am the opposite, because I thought this was a hilarious commercial and made me want to break my quiznos hiatus. Then again I am a young person with disposable income, questionable food taste and a newfound love of borderline sexually-harassing ovens, so maybe I am who they are going for?

  22. diasdiem says:

    This is way better than those commercials with those mutant hamster things a few years back:

  23. enalzi says:

    There’s another version of that commercial that seems to ply during daytime TV. Instead of saying “I’m not doing that again,” he say’s “I’m not wiping you with that chamois again.” They leave out the “Put it in me” as well. I guess the execs really knew what the commercial meant and had a back-up.

  24. skc15 says:

    That made me feel icky. And not in the usual icky way I feel after eating a Quiznos sub.

  25. balt says:

    Because nothing lines people up like implying your sandwich will be cooked in an oven that Scott burned his wang in.

    Not a bad commercial, though. I’m surprised it made it past the suits.

  26. mgy says:

    I have watched this commercial many, many, many times. I laugh every time.

  27. floraposte says:

    This just makes me feel…superfluous.

  28. Sean Wells says:

    They have already changed the commercial, well at least the ones I see down here in Florida. I do have to say though that it was funny and I miss the original.

    • eelmonger says:

      @Sean Wells: There have always been two version of the commercial. The one about the rubdown is “clean” and is shown during times/stations when the other one would be considered inappropriate.

  29. post_break says:

    Here is the periscope if you can spot it.

    [img256.imageshack.us]

  30. ScottCh says:

    My guess?
    They made a bizarre commercial so that people would talk about it a lot on popular blog sites.
    And every time they did, their name would be mentioned!

    Oops, is that too obvious?

  31. eightfifteen says:

    @dresden: @dresden: I just spit a little Diet Dew at this comment. Funny stuff.

  32. deucailion says:

    I thought this commercial was hilarious, and have actually played it for my friends. It is just meant to be funny.

  33. olivia2.0 says:

    Anybody remember that super weird hamster commercial that Quizno’s had? That was weird. And scary.

  34. elocanth says:

    I saw this during the [adult swim] block on Cartoon Network. I guess it speaks to either my frame of mind or the content of [as], but I loved the commercial.

    I assumed they would restrict it to certain channels/time frames for the biggest 18-24 advertising punch, but I guess they’re going all out with it.

    I approve of the new wang-burning, phallic-sandwich producing mascot.

  35. clickable says:

    I thought the homosexual imagery was obvious. I couldn’t care less, but I’m surprised the fundies haven’t swarmed on it yet. Maybe their mouths are full of yummy sandwich.

  36. pschroeter says:

    Is the voice of the oven done by Kelsey Grammer, better know as Frasier? It sounds like him.

    The commercial is very creepy.

  37. chanh55 says:

    wow…

    [IMG][i32.photobucket.com]]

  38. mistaketv says:

    I think the commercial is quite funny. Largely because of all the blog posts about this commercial, I went to Quiznos and put a Toasty Torpedo in me today. It was toasty, torpedo-y, and tasty, btw.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Toasty Torpedo? I will never be able to eat another Quiznos sub again. I’m surprised I haven’t seen any mayo jokes in the comment thread.

    Skeevy commercial. I wish they’d bring back the hamster things.

  40. tahamaki says:

    The version of the commercial on the toastytorpedo.com website is slightly different and less…suggestive.

  41. skatanic says:

    Ok, the whole sex with an over undertone is weird, but seriously, wtf is up with the periscope?! I get the torpedo -> submarine -> periscope logic, but if they are going to put it in the commercial why only show it for half a second?

  42. TWinter says:

    Well, this is the company that had singing rat-like puppets in their ads way back when.

  43. snclfe says:

    Funny – not as funny as the sponge monkeys a few years ago but still funny. There is a touch of 2001′s HAL.
    I’m also glad the oven’s a man’s voice – must assume Quiznos supports gay marriage. The company with their politics right gets my $$$ plus that $5 footlong song from Subway is as anoying as all hell.
    Quiznos is winning!

  44. Suaveydavey says:

    All this rampant sexuality has to stop!


    + Watch video

  45. Lynn12 says:

    I laughed at this commercial, but I stopped laughing when my teen son decided to describe what it meant through the eyes of a teen boy. Thanks to him, I will mever look at a sub the same way. LOL

    Now it joins the ranks of wierd commercials, like that freaky Burger King guy (WTH was up with that one) and the nasal spray bee before they softened his creepy looks.

  46. ceez says:

    i am gonna feel gay ordering/eating one of these sometime next week during lunch at work.

    i wonder if i have to order wth the sexy voice “can I please have a 4 dollar torpedo please”??!

  47. AppleAlex says:

    “put it in me, Scott,”

    that’s what she said

  48. synergy says:

    “a guy estimates that the $4 toasty torpedo is approximately 75% smaller than the $5 Subway sandwich it’s intended to compete against.”

    This was the first thing I said when I saw it at Quizno’s the other day. Same length, but waaaay thinner.

  49. Bs Baldwin says:

    I wouldn’t call it offensive, I would call it trying too hard and sad. Is homo/bromance humor the new hip hop for advertisers?

  50. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Bizarre, yet amusing…..

  51. Hardell Ward says:

    that would really suck if consumerist of all sites cost that guy boatloads cause we destoryed his bandwidth

  52. chris_d says:

    Great. Now I know what the secret ingredient in quiznos’ special sauces is.

  53. geofriend says:

    I have to point out the math error here…

    The torpedo is NOT 75% smaller. The linked blog claims that the subway sandwich is 75% larger than the torpedo, which is not the same thing. This means that the torpedo sandwich is slightly more than half the size of the subway version.

    Saying it is 75% smaller implies that the torpedo is 1/4 the size of the subway footlong, instead of more than half the size. The correct statement equivalent to the subway sandwich being 75% larger is that the quiznos version is 43% smaller. I’m surprised no one else found it hard to believe the 75% number…

  54. serracloud says:

    4 out of 5 Quiznos in the area where I live is going under. If this pace keeps up, these sexy/stupid commercials will be rendered completely irrelevant. Is this happening to anybody else?

  55. savdavid says:

    It doesn’t tell you very much about the product except what it costs and suggestions how to use it.

  56. scoobydoo says:

    The commercial worked – because people everywhere are talking about it. It doesn’t matter how stupid your ad is, as long as you get the attention of your audience.

    That said – Quiznos is evil. Declining food quality, increasing prices and rude franchise owners who do nothing but complain about corporate and deny coupons. Last time I was at a Quiznos, the jackass denied a coupon he himself had handed me 2 weeks before.

  57. Eric Yokie says:

    Years ago, Quizno’s had an ad where someone ate some remnants of a Quizno’s sub out of a garbage can.

    I know what they were trying to say: something along the lines of “it’s so good, they guy would eat it out of the garbage!”

    But that is just bad imagery for me, and I have never eaten at a Quizno’s after seeing that ad.

  58. Aeroracere says:

    They’ve ‘fixed’ the ad, at least on the ads running on the Sci-Fi channel. They have removed most of the sexual references, and now the oven instructs the worker to say it again “with passion”, rather than “sexier.”

    I guess there was enough of an outcry to get it changed?

  59. FuryOfFirestorm says:

    I want every inch of that meaty sandwich in my mouth…

  60. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think I’ve eaten at Quizno’s since they brought out their ‘singing rodent’ commercials (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrks-BPeLQ) – although I find out today that apparently they are sponge monkeys (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=quiznos+sponge+monkey+commercial&aq=f). I’ve never wanted to eat at a restaurant that advertises ‘we have happy vermin!’

    Then they did the talking baby thing – less disgusting, but still disturbing.

    I think they need to find a new ad agency – and probably change their name ala ValuJet -> AirTrans.

  61. Raymond Dang says:

    He’s fraking a toaster!? That’s just wrong…

  62. Joe Delgado says:

    Torpedos…

  63. TVarmy says:

    [andrewteman.org]

    Totally relevant.

  64. TVarmy says:

    Am I the only guy who prefers 4-8 inch sub sandwiches? Anything bigger is too much bread and meat. Plus, it’s less expensive and I’d never really reheat half a toasted hot sandwich later on, so it’s cheaper for me. Keep in mind I tend to hit up local sandwich places, like Hoagie Haven in Princeton, NJ.

  65. EyeintheLAsky says:

    uhhhh, no periscope…but like Dave, recognized the HAL 9000-likeness of the ovens’ voice.

    maybe it’s just me…but a guys voice saying “put it in me” and/or “say it sexy” to another guy seems a bit creepy.

  66. Synth3t1c says:

    [i42.tinypic.com]

    the periscope for anyone who is interested

  67. James Blair says:

    They changed the commercial, now the oven says something like “Rub me with the shammy Scott” and now instead of telling “Scott” to “say it sexier” the oven says “say it with more passion”

    • coopjust says:

      @James Blair:

      When the commercial airs during “daytime hours”, they use that instead of the guy looking down and saying “it burned”. Also, he says “say it with passion” instead of “say it sexy” during the day.

      Last night on Comedy Central, it wasn’t the more tame version.

  68. Hybriddeathdealer says:

    This is what happens when a restaurant chain puts accountants in charge, instead of actually being properly researched & managed. You get ‘tricks’ substituted for good food. A good deal is a quality meal that is a bargain and not the cheapest crap that looks like a phallic symbol with some hormonal boy that puts his schlong in the company oven during his free time. It makes you wonder what else he’s doing with the other company products… And is fondling food company policy at QuizNOs… No, I’m not eating here. lol

  69. agentUrge says:

    my wife and I saw both of those ads friday night..both got a good laugh.

  70. coopjust says:

    Consumerist:

    To say that the Quiznos sandwich is 75% smaller is deceptive. The subway sandwich is 75% larger than the Quiznos sandwich. The subway sandwich may be larger, and even have a better $/size ratio, but that’s pretty deceiving.

    To say that the subway sandwich is 75% larger means that a subway sandwich is the size of 1.75 Quiznos sandwiches. This is the mathematical analysis done on the blog that the Consumerist is linking to.

    To say that the Quiznos sandwich is 75% smaller than the Subway is to say that the Subway sandwich is the size of 4 Quiznos sandwiches.

  71. trujunglist says:

    See, I was just wondering why they didn’t make the voice a woman, even though I realize they’re probably going for some of that HAL9000 thing. It is just way too sexually awkward for me how it currently stands.
    I suppose if they had a womans voice saying “put it in me” then they might get in big trouble.
    Maybe they just shouldn’t do fucking stupid commercials…

  72. glitterpig says:

    I still won’t eat at Quiznos because of their gross “trash-picking” commercial. IF IT’S REALLY THAT GOOD, WHY WAS IT IN THE TRASH IN THE FIRST PLACE? Whenever I pass their stores, I think, “Quiznos: Subs for people who eat out of garbage cans.” Yum!

  73. senor_tron says:

    I wish quiznos would bring back the dancing/singing dead reanimated rats again. nothing makes me want to purchase processed meat on bread like an animated dead rat commercial.

  74. fkafl says:

    Thank god for this article. For days and day I have been under the asssumption that I saw this commercial in some kind of twisted nightmare and that it actually didn’t exist.

    Seriously. Who in their right mind thought that this commerical would be good idea.

  75. Jeremy Jarvis says:

    This is a perfect commercial that targets the younger and liberal demographic. Quizno subs sales in college towns will probably see an increase in sales.

  76. savdavid says:

    There sandwiches maybe a foot long but they are very narrow and thin so really you are getting about the amount of food most other subs give you in 6″. Like men, they lie about their size.