There’s no denying that subscription services are hot. You can now have razors, meal kits and even a curated selection of candy from across the globe delivered to your door, weekly or monthly. This shift toward subscription goods is one reason why brand package design has become increasingly important in recent years. A beautiful or visually arresting design can make regular delivery of expected goods feel almost like a gift.
Given the rising popularity of the subscription model, it’s hardly surprising that brick and mortar businesses are attempting to join the party. What may surprise you, however, is the identity of some of these legacy brands.
How Arby’s took “thinking outside the box” to a new level
In early January 2019, the fast-food franchise Arby’s announced it would begin rolling out a new subscription service for sandwich lovers called “Arby’s of the Month.”
If you’re breaking out in “meat sweats” at the thought of a limp, week-old roast beef sandwich arriving at your door, fear not: These boxes contain “sandwich-inspired items” rather than actual buns, beef and horsey sauce.
The first boxes were distributed to members of the “Arby’s of the Month” club and contained the following promotional items: A visually pleasing brand package design with red and white Arby’s ski hat, a scarf designed to look like a giant slice of bacon, temporary Arby’s sandwich tattoos, a branded dining tray and a note from the company’s so-called “Head of Sandwiches” promising five more months of Arby’s themed goodies.
Arby’s priced the six-month subscriptions for a flat $25 fee. While they quickly sold out, the company says it will alert consumers as soon as more subscriptions come available in the coming weeks.
Why Arby’s chose the subscription box marketing route
Marketers can leverage larger societal trends to great effect. Look no further than Gillette’s recent #metoo-inspired “We Believe” ad, which gained massive attention while courting considerable controversy. Another example: Nike’s 2018 campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, which leveraged the football star’s visibility as a social justice figure.
Now, a “Sandwich of the Month” club doesn’t have the same gravitas. Yet it falls perfectly in line with Arby’s playful, slightly goofy brand identity. Audiences don’t expect a roast beef purveyor to create an idealistic, high-concept ad campaign focusing on human rights. A campaign that builds upon Americans’ recent fascination with subscription delivery boxes — presented in Arby’s signature off-kilter style — is perfectly pitched.
Merely choosing to use the subscription-based model isn’t enough, however. For a truly successful campaign, Arby’s needed two additional things: Delivery items that would delight their customers and an appealing box in which to contain them.
Arby’s succeeded with the former — after all, who wouldn’t be amused by receiving a giant, flowing bacon scarf? For the latter, Arby’s chose to partner with the ad agency Fallon, who came up with a striking example of a strong brand package design to support the campaign.
Overall, Arby’s delivered a clever, on-trend and on-brand campaign idea supported by great design and social media marketing. With those elements in place, it’s little wonder that Arby’s new promotion sold out almost immediately.
What BIGEYE can do for you
If your brand would like to elevate its current marketing approach — or take advantage of truly compelling brand product design — we urge you to contact BIGEYE today.Back to Thinking