Quizno's, Cliff Freeman ready summer assault

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Quizno's Corp. has named Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, as agency of record as it prepares to challenge segment leaders Subway and Blimpies with a new national ad campaign touting its oven-baked subs to break early this summer.

Morey Mahoney, Denver, was the previous agency for the 800-unit chain, which began national cable buys in 1998. This year, it also ventured onto network TV on morning shows such as NBC's "Today." The prior campaign included three 15-second spots using variations on a "Nicely toasted" theme.

The company spent nearly $4 million in measured media in 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting. A spokeswoman said Quizno's is on track to double spending this year, as it has in the past few years. In 1999, Quizno's sales surpassed $19 million, up more than 64% from the prior year.


Cliff Freeman has produced icon-making ads for Wendy's International and Little Caesars Pizza, and has high hopes to do the same for Quizno's, particularly because of the product quality, company management and growth potential.

"Having done some of our best work, but then having to deal with operational shortcomings isn't something I wanted to repeat," said Cliff Freeman, chairman-CEO. "I thought this could be a fast-growing and rewarding partnership."

Mr. Freeman and Quizno's Exec VP-Marketing Rob Elliott worked together previously, when Mr. Elliott was VP-marketing at Little Caesars.

While taste and quality appear to be positionings most fast-feeders are migrating toward, Mr. Freeman believes it is a logical choice for Quizno's, the No. 3-ranked sub sandwich chain. "Of all the [quick-service] companies out there, we think we can support this strategy," he said. "Our [past] efforts have proven to get very high levels of trial and we're reaching out for market share."

Without divulging specifics, Mr. Freeman said the ads will use a similar tack as those created for Little Caesars: Focus on product while creating a strong brand personality. He defined the target customer as educated adults and businesspeople with discerning taste.

Cliff Freeman will handle planning while Carat North America, New York, will handle buying.

Contributing: Richard Linnett

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