Food Fright, Part 11

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 8:39 pm
Food Fright, Part 11

I’ve been bandying about this particular entry for at least a week or two, but was only recently able to snag a few screen captures via the TV tuner card in my computer so I could bring this to life for you, my adoring readership (hack puke wheeze).

This is—purportedly—the new Prime Rib Sub from Quiznos. According to Quiznos’ (I have no goddamn idea what a “Quiznos” is; it is apparently not a name, since if it was you’d assume that there’d be a possessive apostrophe thrown in there somewhere, other than the one I just hung on myself for the sake of good grammar) Web site, the Prime Rib Sub consists of a “Double portion of prime rib [“double” compared to what, I wonder?] with mozzarella, sautéed onions, and Mild Peppercorn Sauce.”

I have to say up front that I’m not a huge fan of Quiznos. Their food, while not particularly vile or poorly prepared, aspires to something it most certainly is not, namely not fast food. That is to say, it ain’t not fast food. It is. Fast food. I don’t care if you toast it, squirt some sort of weird sauce over it and serve it on flaccid, wholly contrived faux-artisan bread. It still tastes about the same as an equivalent Subway sandwich. Which itself is largely reminiscent of Hollofil sleeping-bag insulation.

So basically what you get at Quiznos is a warmer, slightly knobbier version of what you get at just about any megachain fast-food sub joint. Only more pretentious.

With this new sandwich, however—and particularly the attendant, incessant television campaign—the Quiznos Corporation seems to aspire to so much more than mere fooditude. They seem to be reaching for genuine terror, a veritable Subzilla.

I’d be willing to bet that the folks who threw this commercial together never previewed it on a big-screen TV:

Food Fright, Part 11

The first time I ran across this ad, I literally let out a yelp. “Holy crap, what the hell is that?” I exclaimed. I witnessed a similar reaction in our housemate while he and I were channel-surfing a few nights later. “My God!” he yelled. “That is one ugly sandwich!”

When my words returned, I managed to say, “It looks like it’s made from toasted skin grafts.”

I repeated this line to Margaret when she returned home from work, during a reprise of the ad. To my mingled delight and revulsion, she replied, “I’ve done skin grafts, and you’re right: they look pretty much just like that.”

I mentioned this offhandedly to another friend during a car trip, and he responded by telling me that his girlfriend is terrified of these ads.

So apparently this phenomenon is not isolated to our household, and is therefore less likely to be a byproduct of some other random factor, such as radon or carbon monoxide. If anything, this makes me feel worse. It means that someone felt—in fact, was paid probably quite handsomely to feel—that presenting this baleful, glistening Signal 30 of a concoction to the after-dinner television audience would cause folks to flock to their local Quiznos instead of making a mad dash for the john.

Remember, you can’t spell “Quiznos” without “Quease”. 😛

7 Responses to “Food Fright, Part 11”

  1. Joe Says:

    I agree, from the images it looks like the Quiznos ad people were going for food porn and came up with something closer to a snuff film.

    On the other hand, your pros describing the horrors and hyperbole of the ad copy and market strategy come off as a bit disingenuous. After all, you have worked the sandwich biz and you are certainly aware that double portion has a specific meaning. And, not to defend Quiznos but if a company wants to sell franchises in a commoditized market like sub sandwiches that company has to do something to differentiate itself form every other mom-and-pop sub stand in the strip mall.

    I detect a bit of bitterness in you tone. Are you really so unimpressed with the Quiznos sub experience or do you just feel that their upscale aspirations somehow invalidate your experience at a more proletariat sandwich shop in Pullman? Can anything really validate your experience at a sandwich shop in Pullman? Is this post going to result in my getting my ass handed to me the next time I play UT?

  2. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Joe, my dear, dear friend….you are so going to get your ass handed to you next time I see you in the arena. Solely because you brought up my time managing Sam’s Subs in Pullman. 😀

    A funny story along the lines of the “proletariat” sandwich shop: one Saturday during Apple Cup Weekend, when the previous manager and I were running our asses off to get order filled for the line out the door, the phone rings. I pick it up. “Sam’s Subs,” I say. The middle-aged gentleman on the other end of the line—I can picture him now, sitting on the edge of his son’s/daughter’s bed in their Campus Commons North apartment—asks me, “Yes, um, do you have creamy Havarti?”

    I politely told him no, sorry, we didn’t, while thinking to myself, Dude, you’re just damn lucky you didn’t get my manager on the phone; he wouldn’t have even known what you were talking about. He probably would have said “Naw, she don’t work here,” and hung up.

  3. Laura Says:

    From one carnivore to another, the ads are foul.
    Meat SHOULD NOT glisten, rare is a bad state for
    any meat (in my opinion), and please, why is the
    cheese not melted in the HOT sandwhich. Sheesh.
    Thanks for the validation that I wasn’t the only
    one to lose lose their appetite when seeing that ad.
    Almost makes me want to go vegetarian it looks so bad . . almost.:)

  4. Uncle Andrew Says:

    My pleasure. Joe’s comment about the ad trying to be food porn but turning out more like a snuff film was spot-on. Even now my lunch salad rolls in my stomach when I look at the pictures. 😯

  5. Gavin Says:

    I vote food-porn. I wonder how long it took the food stylist to get it to look like female genitalia. Can you find the clitoris in this picture? Most men can’t, (HAHAHA). I guess the real message is “Go to Quiznos to eat out”. I never would have thought to put onions on it, guess I’ll have to try that… (rolls on floor cracking himself up).

  6. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Oh Guh-HAWD, that was awful…. 😀

  7. TriciaSB Says:

    Can you find the clitoris in this picture? Most men can’t

    Every time I hear that “joke” I remember the words of Jane from Coupling (British version, of course), “How difficult is front and center? It’s not like it pops ‘round the back in all the excitement.” 😉

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