Rats in Quiznos subs?

Where did the Quiznos 'rats' come from? I thought they came from under the restaurant's refrigerator, but then a friend pointed me to the web.

Quiznos - Coupon (:30) (2004) (US)
Quiznos - Pepper Bar (2004) (US)


So the website inspired the commercials, but is it really inspiring?

What do you guys think?

In my opinion, having these creatures sell subs is like having pigeons sell KFC! compare with RatherGoods

We love the moon - song

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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AnonymousCoward's picture

ITA! Makes me wanna puke.

Subway's stupid "It's okay, I had Subway" promotions didn't work well on me, either. A couple were funny, but that's about it.

caffeinegoddess's picture

Hi Troy.
I agree. I think they missed the mark. The few that have prior knowledge of the spongemonkeys will know what it is...but for the millions out there who don't...their first impression isn't going to be "what cute primates with weird faces." Granted I'm sure the masses aren't their target, but it's a sub shop. Everyone could be their target. And maybe they are trying to get themselves a niche to compete with places like Subway. Definitely the other end of the spectrum in terms of creative...well at least from Jared. It's a bit closer to the recent ads of people behaving badly. Which I personally didn't like. Quiznos has a strange marketing history though. Last year (or was it two years ago) they had spots that ran where the story of the ad was that the guy who created the sandwiches was so rapped up in making sandwiches he forgets to put on his pants. Then the suckling wolf thing (which I found amusing more so that they actually got it on air- not that it would get me to eat in their stores), and now these guys. It's an interesting trend. Wonder where they'll go from here.

AnonymousCoward's picture

I have never in my lifetime eaten at Quizmos. After seeing their commercial - I can assure you - I WILL NEVER EVER EAT AT QUIZMOS!! Their commercial is sssssooooooooooooo disgusting. Those may be some form of cute monkeys to some people but to me they appear to be some form of rodents. If I ever took a bite out of one of their sandwichs, I would be thinking about that stupid rat singing that stupid song. It is beyond my imagination as to how any Quizmo's company executive could think that a commercial, as atrocious as that one is, could possibly be appealing to the public consumer. When I see the commercial, I literally get sick to my stomach. I sure am glad I don't have any stock in that company. All my friends and people I've talked to about the commercial feel the same way as I do. Good luck to Quizmos. If their sandwichs are as bad as their commercials, they're going to need it...............

AnonymousCoward's picture

The rats are superugly and an insult to my intelligence. The commercial does not encourage me to go to Quiznos at all.

AnonymousCoward's picture

My baby sister turned me on to Mr Rathergood, when I saw the Quiznos commercial I just knew it had to be his doing. I think the commercials are hilarious! My girlfriend thinks they're stupid and says they don't make her want to buy a Quiznos sub. I guess the concensus is either you love 'em or you hate 'em (the commercials that is).

AnonymousCoward's picture

Ohhh and by the way... I think I'll eat lunch at Quiznos all week in support as well. Lighten up people, it's just a commercial.

AnonymousCoward's picture

Ok I loved the annoying music it was catchy but the "whateverthehecktheyR" have curled up feet which makes me think of a hamster that has been stuffed. Bad press is good press so they definitely did the job for getting people to stop and want to look again...I wouldnt get a sandwich but I would stop at the Pepper Bar :-) just because what is a Pepper Bar? So...cute commercial weird choice in its spokemodels uhh spokethings.

AnonymousCoward's picture

I have never provided feedback to a company regarding advertising until tonight. I emailed Quizno's asking them to please stop airing this revolting commercial.

You're right, we could lighten up, it's just a commercial. By lighten up, I mean lose weight! Viewing or remembering the commerciall actually makes me ill. Not only is my appetite gone, I have a hard time keeping from vomiting. The imagery leaves me thinking of rodent cold cuts and scurrying vermin on cutting boards. I don't know what your health standards are, but mine are high.

If someone handed me a Quizno sub, I think I would vomit before getting the first bite down.

The real truth is that toasted bread gives the company such an edge over the competition. Believe me, toasted bread would attract me. Rodents are something right out of a Stephen King novel.

Bon Appetit!

AnonymousCoward's picture


Doesn't really matter to me what they are....rats, monkeys, gerbils, etc.... I know ONE thing for sure...

When you see their little feets curled up like that.....

They's DEAD critters, they is....no matter what they be.


Beware of paper CUUUUUTS!!! *grin*

Dabitch's picture

Joel probably had to kill them as they wouldn't sit (flat) still in the scanner otherwise.

Kiddin'. ;)

AnonymousCoward's picture


I'm dyin' here...... ;-)

AnonymousCoward's picture

Everytime I hear that stupid commercial, I CRINGE! The rats or hamsters or whatebver those things are are seriously turning me off from ever visiting Quizno's. YUCK!

I know they got it from the RatherGoods site, but it just ain't workin' for Quiznos.

They need to stick to folks diving in garbage cans to get a Quzino's sub that was thrown away.

Dabitch's picture

my fave rathergood is the northern kitties singing independent woman .

AnonymousCoward's picture

Pure, unadulterated comical genius. I'm glad a corporation has the guts to NOT take itself too seriously, and in this case they've given us a commercial that like it or not, sticks in our heads. No, the 'rats'/'monkeys' don't make me want to try a sub necessarily, but being a regular Quizno's customer they don't HAVE to sell me subs. They did, however, make probably some of the best commercials I've ever seen with our strange dubious little singing friends. I love that Quizno's made a commercial which got their message out AND made me laugh myself to tears. Unlike the Taco Bell dog, these little guys aren't cute in the conventional sense, but they also won't see the kind of OVERexposure he got. I hope Quizno's continues to make these ads with the little guys that are so ugly you can't resist wanting to watch them. The song may be horrendous from a musician's standpoint in terms of key, but I swear they've stuck in my head in a fraction of the time that the Big Mac ingredients rap of the 80's made it into my permanent memory.

My nephew (who's 3) also thinks the commercials are captivating, and he's even started calling them "mudges", for whatever reason; I assume it's because until I found this post I had no friggin' clue what they were aside from gerbil fetuses or roadkill. Even though it's not really in Quiznos' marketing plan so far, I'd absolutely love to see a limited run of giveaways for a plush set (or figurines) of these alarmingly-endearing little fuzzballs. I don't think people need to take the 'rat' stigma too seriously, and in fact I think everyone oughta' praise the Quizno's big-wigs for having a sense of humor and the guts to do something FUN instead of another boring commercial like I see the majority of the food industry doing.

Bottom line: We love the subs! And we love these weird little bad-singing animals. I want them. Who's with me????

Heath L.

AnonymousCoward's picture

Even though Quiznos says thier ad campaign has Genus Tarsius as spoke "people" they look more like dead hamsters with google eyes and bad teeth. Why I would want to eat anything repersented by dead animals is beyond me!

Dabitch's picture

I'm in, put me down for a grilled cheese sub.

AnonymousCoward's picture

I hate the rats/spongemonkeys/whatever!
'Cause they look disgusting to me
They make me wanna puke
Everytime I see them on the Quizno's commercials

I turn the channel real quick

'Cause they turn my stomach
I experience great nausea

So I have to turn the channel


Dabitch's picture
AnonymousCoward's picture

What a bunch of tight asses. When did we all leave our childhoods behind and become old, humorless, sensitive stomached old farts? The spongmonkeys are what they are. They're funny, weird little creatures who evangelize about their favorite subs. I can't believe so many people are grossed out from these things. We used eat gummy worms and green ketchup and think cool! Now we get wigged out by a little commercial tomfoolery and our little tummies get upset. I'd tell you to grow up, but it seems you already have. Pity.

AnonymousCoward's picture

Sorry. I had to come back to the dude who said since Quiznos sells subs, they should sell to everybody. I'm confiused. Is this an ad site or what? First rule: You don't sell to everybody even if you're subway. That's what targeting is all about. I guarantee you Quiznos is crazy like a fox. They know there best customers well enough to know that the Monkeys will rule and ring up the cash register.

AnonymousCoward's picture

and lest we forget they got fifty times the media purchase for their buck. these commercials are being talked about on the news, on vh1, on entertainment shows, etc. the name is out there, for the third rate player in the fast-food subs market they are getting a lot more exposure than subway did with jared. i mean, jared was just a fat guy who miraculously dropped 100 some odd lbs on a subway diet (i think he used liberal amounts of meth dressing)... but who really cared?

this ad has polarized our entire agency. nobody at doner seems to NOT have a strong opinion. is it a demented example of style over substance advertising? sure, but it won't be the first time. what was "where's the beef?" they never really even SHOWED a wendy's hamburger!


AnonymousCoward's picture

THey are not rats they are "Spud Monkeys" I know one of the people that helped to create the commercial. What a "Spud Monkey" is, i wouldnt even begin to know. Lets just say the people that created it are very very funny, slightly strange.

Dabitch's picture

Joel or his bro? 'cause I'm dead curious as who's teeth are 'being the teeth' of the spongemonkeys. I sincerely hope it's not either of theirs. ;)

AnonymousCoward's picture

My wife and I glanced at each other in revolted dis-belief while the commercial was playing. I'm a Quizno's die-hard, and got outta my easy-chair to inform them of their massive mistake! M-m-m-m--fresh toasted RAT-wiches. Toasted rats are better.

I emailed them, and got QUIZNOS letterhead reply via snail mail a couple of weeks later saying, "Thanks for your opinion, but our test audiences are smarter than you and we'll keep on playing the spots." Or something like that. No coupon or nuttin'. 8^) I should scan the letter and post it here. I notice the RATS have left Anchorage's airwaves anyway (haven't seen the new spots since a week after they started). Is it possible they're pulled completely, or are they still in rotation in the lower 48?

I *may* return to Q's for a Mesquite Ratwich...-uh--sandwich now.

Quizno's beats Subway--deceased rodent paws down--any old day.

Dabitch's picture

More info, AZ central writes:

Martin (agency) says it's too early to tell how successful the ads have been in terms of sub sales, but the buzz has been loud....
Spong monkeys may have nothing to do with sub sandwiches (but then polar bears have nothing to do with Coca Cola, either), and they may look a bit disgusting to some folks, but they're becoming stars.
"They've generated lots of water-cooler conversation, and that kind of talk value puts us on consumers' radar," Lange says.

Dabitch's picture

I can't help it, I'm a sucker for rathergoods stuff, c r a c k s m e u p ! - and beware of paper cuts is suweeeeeeeeeeet of them little, eh, whatever they are.

Robblink's picture

Interesting...so these "rats" or sponge monkeys are related to the VH-1 cats...hmmm....

Dabitch's picture

yes, it's going rather well for Mr Rathergood. [ha!]

blabla's picture

I'm not sure I like these creatures, but I have caught myself singing "they have a pepper bar " ever since I made the mistake of watching it.

Dabitch's picture

Here's where it sortof rubs me the wrong way:

Does anyone else have the feeling in cases such as this, or Flat Eric, or the already-shot-exactly-that-way Whassup ads, and countless others I can't be bothered to remember right now, that the creative team are sortof acting like a dating service between 24/7 creative animators/filmmakers and the big fat-walleted client?

caffeinegoddess's picture

I'm rather suprised the client went for rat-like things singing. I know my SO couldn't get past the rats in an ad for a fast food joint. to even pay attention to the coupon deal they are pushing. And I, as an adgrunt, didn't get the coupon thing until my 3rd or 4th viewing of the spot, as I too, was too busy being in shock that rat-like creatures where tied to Quiznos.

Dabitch's picture

OK, they are "ratlike" to other people, but they ain't 'rats', they're clearly badstardized Genus Tarsius, ie; cute tiny monkeys with big eyes! I thought that was obvious (what with the funny feet and all). I lurve them little things.

Allan1's picture

I actually thought that they were bastardized Bush Babies - see


In any case, though they look like rats, they are actually close relatives to humans! If they could make them cuter looking, no-one would think of rats when they saw them (Walt Disney built his empire on a MOUSE - a very cute one, who got cuter each year).

The use of that particular person's mouth [even, or especially, upside down] makes them more creepy! AND more rat-like.

Funny things that they are.....

Dabitch's picture

aaaaw... bush babies are cute. i want one.

Andreas-Udd's picture

As much as I love Rathergood - and love any advertising (agency) that dares to be different, in the tired american ad-scene...... You have a point about the glorified dating agency here - in this particular case, trying to ride on the success of an internet meme seems way off base - in the case of VH1it was a match made in heaven.

AnonymousCoward's picture

Well, the singing one is more like a malformed rat fetus, the guitar playing one is like a rat roadkill. They do not inspire me to buy Quiznos, they inspire me to throw up........

Neo's picture

I applaud Quiznos for finding true creativity and putting it on the air, cutting through the clutter of the bite-and-smile ads, daring to be different.
And not sinking to the level of Subway with their man dressed in a cheerleader outfit, and another who suckled wolves - now that really made me loose my appetite. Finally we see a very different campaign, with a sing-along friendly song that sticks like glue to your head, is terribly amusing and spends 30 seconds talking exclusively about their offer. Well done! I think I'll have Quiznos toasted subs for lunch all week to show my support.

aiiobo's picture

I'll meet you there! Next to the pepper baaaaar, OK?

AnonymousCoward's picture

I hate this commercial and let me tell you why.

The commercial definitely has made people say the name, "Quiznos!" a lot more in the last couple of weeks.

However, even though people are recalling this commercial, is that good? What are they remembering? A couple of screaming rodents on a screen? Can anyone get past the nausea long enough in order to actually watch the commercial?

Just my thoughts---Amelia

caffeinegoddess's picture

but the suckling wolves was Quiznos.

AnonymousCoward's picture

It's beyond me why a corporation would want to advertise an eating establishment using dead rats or mice (depending upon the viewer). Although it might explain where those little plain peppercorns come from.

Neo's picture

so it was - point still being that I found a drop in appetite watching them ads, and not while watching these singing bushbabies, as I'm far too preoccupied with laughing my head off.

AnonymousCoward's picture

I haven't seen these particular adverts, because I'm English and we don't even have Quiznos over here. But I'm so sick of how over-saturated these Joel Veitch flash animation things are becoming. I was never a particularly big fan of rathergood.com in the first place, but since he's started whoring himself out to the highest bidder, it's got even worse. First there was that discosquirrels.com thing, and then apparently some VH1 ads? And these Quiznos ads, and he has his own weekly TV show over here (presumably because he too is English). It's just too much. The only adverts of his I actually like are for Switch Maestro. You can see them at www.switch.co.uk (if they're not on this site somewhere. I'm new, sorry). They're more or less identical but they're the only ones I know of that don't feature insane shout/singing, instead opting for nice, pleasant sounding accents. It's much better, in my opinion.

Neo's picture

Ah, I hadn't seen them Switch ads, thanks mate!
Not many UK ads around here, I guess they don't send in their reels .

AnonymousCoward's picture

Yeah, I noticed that. I was looking at the roundups for each year and was surprised at how few UK ads were on there. The whole reason I found this site was because a few of my american friends had been complaining the standard of UK ads was so much higher! Now I don't know if they were wrong, or this site just doesn't get as many UK ads. But I think I'm getting off topic there...

Dabitch's picture

...which is fine. :P yep, it's all true, we don't get many UK ads - oddly the Finnish are more keen sending in their reels. Go figure! Oh and the Swedes. I'd love to get some UK ads. Gimme Gimme Gimme! :)

AnonymousCoward's picture

If you send them a message that is not in favor of this add, they will send you a letter in the mail with this response:

Thank you for alerting us to your concerns and addressing them with us.
We developed this campaign as a fun and memorable way to demonstrate the taste and quality of a Quiznow sub. We first did some research and learned a few things about our customers:

1. They are sub-fanatics who are particularly loyal to the great taste of Quiznos.
2. They enjoy new experiences and things that are outside the "norm".
3. They appreciate and encourage humor.
4. They are "straight-shooters" and don't particularly identify with big, mainstream advertising.

The characters in this ad really spoke to our customers because they are not your typical spokespersons. They are off-speed and random which makes them funny and just dowright craqy for Quiznos subs. We found them to be great testimonials for our advertising.

We will make note of your concerns and appreciate hearing your feedback.

There was no signiture, not even a stamped one.

I always thought that advertising was bout getting NEW customers, not scareing them away.

Becca Riley

troymcclure's picture

Ah yes, flat rats. Now there's an appetizing image for a restaurant. (Paging the Health Board.)

Granted, the commercial does cut through the clutter. But so would footage of Ernest Borgnine making love to the late Ethel Merman on their honeymoon - and who wants to see that? (Not even Ernest Borgnine, I wager.)

To me, this commercial stands as a classic example of creatives talking to other creatives rather the customers. They're so busy trying to hip and cool and coming up with "daring" work that will sweep the award shows that they have neglected to take into account the potential reaction of the very people they are supposedly trying to reach.

I'm sure the spongemonkeys will develop a small cult following who will howl at their screechy singing and offer up goat entrails in their name. But I have a hunch that will alienate the majority of viewers who will find them repulsive, disturbing or just plain dumb.

Don't believe me? Just do a quick search of Internet newsgroups using groups.google.com. Some posters liked the commercial (or, if they didn't, said their kids did). But for every favorable comment, there were many more like these:

"Have you seen the new "Quiznos" commercial with the singing rodent-like creatures with hideous faces? I really can NOT imagine what ad person decided that it would be a good idea to use ugly-ass rodents to sell subs. Very weird!!"

"I HATE, just HATE that commercial. It's the voices they use."

"Glad I'm not the only one! I find it annoying as hell."

Yes, the Quizno's commercial does have people talking. But it doesn't seem to have them going to Quizno's. And when you get right down to it, isn't that what this business is supposed to be about?

artsoundz's picture

These Quiznos gerbils are the offspring of a pair that spent a "lost weekend" with Richard Gere.

weatherman's picture

Wow! Lets not take the crazy