08 February 2008

They've got a Pepper Bar!

First, I'd like you to view what I feel is the greatest commercial ever filmed:

That has to be one of the strangest ads I've ever seen. Weird, ugly puppets, singing badly. With bad green screen effects. Who in their right mind would make this ad, and then try and sell sandwiches with it?

After seeing this commercial a few years ago, I talked about it constantly with people.

Sample conversation:

tIoP: Have you seen that Quizno's commercial? The one with the puppets?

Victim: Uh...I don't know. What happens?

tIoP: They sing off key about the subs! Like this! (proceeds to sing)

Victim: I don't think so.

tIoP: It's hilarious! (continues to sing) They've got a pepper bar!

Victim: Uh huh. I've got to be going now.

After three or four spots, they replaced these weird puppets with a not-nearly-as-funny talking perverted baby. I missed those weird puppets.

One day, when I was working at a fine dining restaurant in Chicago that shall not be named (okay, it was Bin 36), I got into conversation with a couple of guys sitting at the bar. Turns out that they were the chief advertising guys for Quizno's. Immediately I asked them about the puppets, and told them that they were my favorite commercials of all time.

"Oh, geez, those things."

Clearly there was a story here. Turns out that the 'Spongemonkeys' was some British internet video that made them laugh around the Quizno's office. They contacted the people who created the videos and asked them to make a commercial.

It didn't go over well.

First, the only things people remembered from the commercial was the puppets themselves. People also remembered the pepper bar. But not the sandwiches.

Second, people didn't think it was funny.

Third, the franchise owners HATED the commercials. One guy called them up and asked why they were advertising his sandwiches with dead rats.

The ads were pulled.

And television has never been the same again.

Postscript: Absolutely because of the commercials, I did try Quizno's for the first time. It was gross, and I've never gone back. Turns out the voice of the perverted baby was the guy who played Lust on "Herman's Head."

I have no idea where the Spongemonkeys went off to. But I miss them.


Anonymous said...

find much sponge monkey love at www.rathergood.com

much love,


Anonymous said...


gizmorox said...

The spongemonkeys used to scare the shit out of me. Also, you're right, Quizno's completely sucks.

But rathergood.com used to have the greatest thing ever, with viking kittens singing Zeppelin's Immigrant Song. But they don't anymore and therefore are not awesome.

Lara said...

I'm so glad that you also had tardtastic conversations like that.

pistols at dawn said...

Those things were great, and are indeed found at rathergood.com. The girl I dated at the time loved how excited I would get every time those ads came on. I even got a shirt with them on it somewhere, and people still excitedly recall those weird ass ads whenever I wear it.

Ms. Laaw-yuhr said...

God, I loved these ads!

I had such a similar love of this Mexican food commercial. I think it was for a local chain, but the ad began with a stoner dude in a mariachi outfit greeting patrons as they entered the restaurant singing:

Hey dudes, welcome to the casa!
La la la que pasa man
Hey, let's go whack a pinata

The ad then went on to say something like "Tired of fake Mexican restaurants?"

The singing stone dude would just kill me. Every. Single. Time.

Belinda said...

OH....MY....LORDY!!! How on earth did that ad get approved??

And now you've made me think about Herman's Head - off to do a Google search cos my memory ain't working.

McGone said...

I automatically think "They've got a pepper bar" whenever I pass a Quiznos - a true Pavlovian response. Thanks, Television, for thoroughly rotting my brain!

Barry Nong said...

I dont think we have quiznos here in oz....could you stomp on one and post it?

Natalie said...

That ad was almost as goof as the levi's claymation one where the pigeons pooped on some guy to shabba ranks.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

God I loved those ads! Weird but good.

When these ads were airing I ate the most expensive meal of my life (at the time) at Bin36. There was some kind of cheesecake with orange flavored cotton candy on it. Also weird but good.

Andy said...

Couldn't agree more. Those commercially were hilarious and they also got me to try Quiznos for the first and only time. I guess they weren't so effective with everybody else. Those were simpler times...

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