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No one wants to pick a bread bae

Tim Nelson
May 23, 2018

Social media accounts is littered with corporate accounts struggling mightily to project a cool brand to the youths. Everyone from Arby’s (whose timeline seems to show a weird obsession with anime recently) to the US Air Force is guilty of tweeting like teens and cravenly co-opting memes. But what happens when a brand tries to communicate with fellow kids and nobody responds? Does it make a sound? The answer: sort of.

The latest moment in embarrassing branded social media use comes to us by way of Subway Canada. Earlier this month, the account tweeted out a poll asking its roughly 135,000 followers to “pick [their] bread bae”.

It’s the kind of schlock that fills up countless spaces on social media content calendars. What makes this particular poll notable, however, is that it received literally zero responses. Not a single Canadian who wants to clog their timeline with the latest info on mediocre sandwiches felt compelled to tap their smartphone screen to express a bread preference. Of course, the absence of “yoga mat” as an option also could have lowered voter turnout to zero. A similar effort to get people to care about Subway’s Greek offerings yielded the same no-show result.

Perhaps the saddest part was that even in today’s warp-speed social media landscape, it took about a week for the rest of the world to learn of Subway Canada’s failure. Only from a smattering of replies long after May 9th and a viral tweet from basketball podcaster @coleymick tweeted can we confirm that anyone in the outside world was even aware of its existence.

As you’d expect from a Canadian Twitter account, @SubwayCanada took the exposure of their utter failure in polite stride. Just kidding, they tweeted some passive-aggressive replies instead.

The subsequent attention that’s been paid to the poll has probably exceeded the amount of impressions @SubwayCanada would have generated otherwise, so you can’t discount the possibility that this was all some sort of subversive marketing scheme. After all, if there’s one sandwich chain that knows how to turn what seems to be overwhelming public indifference into incomprehensible success, it’s Subway.  

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