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Three things punctuate my memory of 2004: crying over how pathetic I was at Dance Dance Revolution, Lindsay Lohan and a series of commercials featuring two haunting creatures with misshapen eyes and mouths screaming at me about the delights of Quiznos subs.

“We love the subs, coz they are good to us,” yelled a weird and disconcerting creature in a bowler hat, before going on to describe the sandwiches at Quiznos as tasty, crunchy and warm.

So, you’re probably wondering: Why am I talking about this now, in the year 2019?

Well, a tweet reminiscing about those creatures ― the spongmonkeys (yes, that’s their actual name; more on that in second) ― and their musical stylings by writer Erin Sullivan took off on Sunday night. Which made me realize that I still remember every single lyric to these dumb ads.

Sullivan’s tweet quipped that the spongmonkeys were why millennials don’t own homes ― a riff off the very 2019 internet joke that stems from claims that millennials can’t afford homes because of things like avocado toast and lattes. The tweet has more than 15,000 retweets and 58,000 likes.

In response to Sullivan, I’ve been pleased to realize that I’m not the only who remembered and have never stopped thinking about these bizarre commercials:

Hol up.

I entirely forgot that quiznos was advertising with a short lived internet meme long before the current state of corporate twitter.

Like they actually aired this on tv where your dad could see it. Ahead of their damn time.

— Silveretta (@Saint_SIl) June 17, 2019

I think about this commercial once a week, easily.

My eyes often loose focus and I’ll chant “dey got a pepper bar” in a high pitched wail directed up towards an uncaring god. Does he hear my cries? Does he care? Only the shadows truly know and they refuse to say as of yet.

— Ryan Hartman (@RyanHartmanWins) June 17, 2019

I see Quiznos is trending and all I have to say is;

Every time I get sleep paralysis, I think of your hell-spawns called the Spongmonkeys.

Screw you, Quiznos, for cursing me. pic.twitter.com/0ptgLsd9AB

— Ty 😃 (@tcmich31) June 17, 2019

Let’s get back to the basics here. For starters, what the actual fuck is a spongmonkey?

As spongmonkey is a portmanteau of the term “spong,” which on British website b3ta means “the practice of adding large staring eyes with small pupils to an image,” plus, well, monkeys. They were created by writer and animation director Joel Veitch, who appeared to have made them in 2003 and featured them in a delightfully odd video called “We Like the Moon.”

“The song was improvised with my brother Alex. We had been to the pub, and bashed the song out when we got home. I made the lyrics up as I went along, and it was recorded on to a video camera. The next morning I watched it back, still liked it, so I put together the animation and whacked it up on the internet,” Veitch told me via email.

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Quiznos didn’t elaborate on how it became intrigued by the spongmonkeys, but told HuffPost that its “brand team has enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane in the Twitter comments.”

“Some things will never change, though. We still love da moon, and we still have a pepper barrr,” Mark Lohmann, Quiznos’ chief brand officer, said in an email.

I learned how Quiznos got ahold of them via a 2004 Slate interview with the company’s chief marketing officer, Trey Hall.

Apparently, the brand’s ad firm received a clip of Veitch’s “We Like the Moon” from his site rathergood.com and “decided it was perfect for a new campaign.” The sandwich brand was apparently seeking to make a “dramatic” statement with its small advertising budget; the spongmonkeys Quiznos commercials became part of a Quiznos ad campaign that hit TV screens all around the United States during the 2004 Super Bowl.

Veitch told me that Quiznos had their “agency writing on the songs [too], as they are commercials and that’s how commercials work.” He also indicated that his favorite of the spongmonkey ads ― yes, there was more than one ― was the one where the creatures are dressed as Huns, helmets and all.

“It’s not particularly well known but it is my favourite. I feel like there is something particularly noble in their assertion that they are too civilised to eat raw subs. Yes, those little Spongmonkies are very refined, and anyone who thinks otherwise should be ashamed of themselves,” said Veitch.

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Quiznos’ chief marketing officer later told AdAge that the campaign succeeded in creating “awareness and buzz,” so they later “pulled back on [the branding ads] to sell real product benefits.” That same report noted that the brand received as “many as 30,000 calls the first week” the ads aired and that some franchisees weren’t happy with the critters.

When I first saw them in 2004, I hadn’t seen anything like the spongmonkeys on television before. I remember being utterly transfixed, laughing out loud every single time I saw them and scream-singing their lyrics everywhere I went for weeks. My sister and I often were left gasping for air whenever the one spongmonkey aggressively exclaimed, “THEY GOT A PEPPER BAR!!!”

Spongmonkeys were the sort of odd internet amalgamation that, at the time, we had seen only when we sneaked downstairs to the only computer we had access to, fired up the AOL modem and lurked on eBaum’s World.

The bug-eyed musicians have made many reappearances on social media over the years, dominating Reddit boards and even making Time’s “Top 10 Creepiest Product Mascots,” alongside Burger King’s King and McDonald’s Hamburglar, despite Quiznos as a brand rapidly shrinking (Quiznos filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2014 and was down to 800 stores worldwide as of 2018).

Veitch says he reacts “with utter joy to all the attention they get.”

“I am humbled and overwhelmed with glee. Hooray for the world, as it is a world that allows my little Spongmonkeys to sing their joyful song to the people,” he told me.

In a world where Denny’s casually calls freckles “body pepper” and VitaCoco begets social media feuds that end in urine-filled jugs, it’s not clear whether or not the spongmonkeys would have what it takes to break through the noise like they did in the early aughts. But they’ll always have a place in my unhinged little heart.

This article has been updated with comments from Quiznos.

FAQs

Is the Quiznos rat commercial real?

The result was a commercial campaign so strange that many people couldn’t believe they were a real advertisement and not some collective bizarre fever dream. The spongmonkeys were the mascot of the sandwich chain until the end of 2004, when the commercials were discontinued, per Adweek

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What are the Quiznos rats called?

Spongmonkeys

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What animal was in the Quiznos commercial?

Mission accomplished, I’d say. By the way, this is an ongoing strategy for Quiznos and has met with some detractors in the past. Last fall, Ad Report Card critiqued a Quiznos spot in which a man suckles at the teat of a she-wolf. This is genius advertising!

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What are the Quiznos animals?

In 2004, 41-year-old Ty Harper was an experienced art director about to launch a major ad campaign based on an idea he had pitched to Quiznos. The sandwich chain said they wanted to get noticed, and he gave them exactly what they wanted: the Spongmonkey. It was a simple concept

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What is a Spong monkey?

As spongmonkey is a portmanteau of the term ?spong,? which on British website b3ta means ?the practice of adding large staring eyes with small pupils to an image,? plus, well, monkeys.

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Did Quiznos go out of business?

On Monday, Quiznos was sold to an investment firm out of San Diego. This has given me time to tell the story of one of the biggest restaurant chain collapses in industry history. Between 2007 and 2017, Quiznos shrunk from 4,700 U.S. locations to fewer than 400.

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What is better Quiznos or Subway?

Taste/Food Quality: Starting with the meat, Quiznos has long marketed itself as having higher quality ingredients than Subway. When it comes to the chicken, this is indeed the case. Quiznos chicken chunks have a nice texture, and are neither overly dry nor too chewy.

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How many Quiznos are left in the United States?

Bankruptcy and restructuring upset many of these plans. As of March 31, 2022, there were 176 Quiznos restaurants in the United States and around 200 in 30-plus countries.

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What state has the most Quiznos?

The state with the most number of Quiznos locations in the US is California, with 19 locations, which is 11% of all Quiznos locations in America.

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What bread does Quiznos use?

Your choices among the chain’s Artisan Breads include White, Wheat, Rosemary Parmesan, or Jalapeno Cheddar. You can also have any sub put into ciabatta bread.

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What kind of Mayo does Quiznos use?

“It tastes much better.” Jimmy John’s, Cousins Subs and Quiznos also use real mayo, and Miracle Whip is not available. But plenty of folks out there say they would order a sandwich with Miracle Whip if it were an option.

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Quiznos Spongmonkeys: The Weirdest Ad and Mascot of All …

The Song of the Quiznos Spongmonkey, the Weirdest Corporate Mascot of All Time In 2004, 41-year-old Ty Harper was an experienced art director about to launch a major ad campaign based on an idea he had pitched to Quiznos. The sandwich chain said they wanted to get noticed, and he gave them exactly what they wanted: the Spongmonkey. It was a simple concept. Harper had found a viral video featuring creatures called Spongmonkeys singing about their love of the moon. Why not have them singing about toasted subs instead? I mean, who could resist? A lot of people, as it turned out. The backlash against the campaign was near instantaneous — and universal. “People were saying it was just a bunch of singing rats, and I was like, ‘Well, first of all, they’re not rats. If you look closely, they’re carefully constructed of seven different animals,’” Harper tells me. His argument, however, was unconvincing. The Quiznos Spongmonkey frequently makes the cut on “all-time worst mascots” lists and advertising experts consider it a love-or-hate property (at best). The only thing everyone seems to agree on: How the fuck did these commercials come to be in the first place? The short answer: beer. Lots and lots of beer. Spongmonkey creator and animator Joel Veitch, 46, of Rather Good, says he and his brother wrote the song that would one day become an advertising earworm during a beer-fueled night in the U.K. “I was in the pub with my brother, and we were talking about how great the moon was while we got a bit tipsy,” he tells me. They were soon back at home, drinking even more beer, when they got out the guitar and Veitch improvised some lyrics paying homage to the moon. The next day, he looked back at the video recording of the impromptu songwriting session and was shocked to find that he didn’t hate it. In fact, he was inspired. He had been working with some characters he called Spongmonkeys (Veitch was active on a British website called b3ta where “spong” — adding large eyes with small pupils to images — was a popular practice), and he put together a little animated video where his creatures sang his moon anthem. “We shoved it up on the internet, and, um, that’s how it all started,” he explains. The video quickly went viral, reaching over a million views, which was quite a feat in the pre-social media and YouTube era. One of the people who came across it was Harper, who went down a late-night rabbit hole that led him to the work of Rather Good. He bookmarked the “We Love the Moon” video and left it at that. “I had no clue why I was bookmarking it, but I had a feeling that it would come in handy someday,” he says. “I was just mesmerized.” A few months later, Quiznos approached his agency, the Martin Agency, to pitch a massive national campaign that would make a big splash. Harper knew just the thing to get the company noticed: Spongmonkeys earnestly singing about their love for subs. He and his partner at…

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The singing Quiznos rodents, explained.

The singing Quiznos rodents, explained. Ad Report Card The Creatures From the Sandwich Shop Behind the singing rodents in the Quiznos ad. Quiznos’ singing rodent The spot: A small, furry creature, wearing a bowler hat, levitates as he sings an ode to Quiznos subs. Nearby, another flying creature wears an 18th century seafaring hat, and strums on an acoustic guitar. Song lyrics: “We love the subs! ‘Cuz they are good to us. The Quiznos subs. They are tasty, they are crunchy, they are warm because they toast them. They got a pepper bar!” Never have I gotten so much mail on a single ad. I gather that you seek an explanation. And with great urgency. Many of you sound disturbed—as though your lives will be placed on hold until you’ve come to terms with these haunting creatures. I wish I could help. But what can be said? I mean, it’s a screeching, levitating prosimian in a bowler hat. You’ll find no easy answers here, people. What I can tell you is this: These characters come from a man named Joel Veitch, who makes television shows for Britain’s Channel 4 *  (according to his Web site, www.rathergood.com). On his site, you can see these creatures in a January 2003 video clip, in which they sing about loving the moon, marmots, cheese, dirigibles, and several other nouns. The clip, which calls the characters “spongmonkeys,” seems pretty clearly the basis for the Quiznos ad. (Quiznos says a guy from their ad firm received the clip in an e-mail from a friend and decided it was perfect for a new campaign.) According to Trey Hall, the chief marketing officer, Quiznos gets loads of mail on these ads. He says it breaks into three categories: 1) “What are these creatures?”; 2) “You gotta be kidding”; and 3) “This is genius advertising!” Since that’s pretty much the breakdown in my mailbag, too, I’ll take these one by one. What are these creatures? As I say, they’re called spongmonkeys. I don’t know why and neither did Hall. In your mail to me, you’ve called them: gerbils with birth defects; Mr. Potato Rats; drug-addled, castrato hamsters; and “hell lemurs” (which, while catchy, is not really accurate, as the lemur body type is far more ectomorphic). Whatever they are, they’re clearly Photoshopped, and if pressed I would say the base element is a pygmy marmoset. You gotta be kidding. Many of you are repulsed by the spongmonkeys, can’t fathom how they would make you desire a sub, and worry that these ratlike creatures suggest an unsanitary sandwich-prep environment. Hall says that Quiznos needs to be “dramatic” with the airtime it buys, because it’s got a smaller ad budget than its competitors. It’s a brand that’s still in a growth stage, and its main goal right now is awareness—i.e., water-cooler talk. Mission accomplished, I’d say. By the way, this is an ongoing strategy for Quiznos and has met with some detractors in the past. Last fall, Ad Report Card critiqued a Quiznos spot in which a man suckles at the…

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Quiznos Rejoice commercial with Spongmonkies in HD

I've Never Stopped Thinking About The Quiznos … – HuffPost

I’ve Never Stopped Thinking About The Quiznos Spongmonkey Commercials

Keep reading

Whatever Happened To The Quiznos Spongmonkey Mascot?

Whatever Happened To The Quiznos Spongmonkey Mascot? The bizarre, screeching rodents known inexplicably as “spongmonkeys” first appeared on TV screens in 2004, quite literally singing the praises of Quiznos subs. The creatures disconcertingly floated in front of a Quiznos building, shrieking lines like “we love the subs, coz they are good to us,” and “they are tasty, they are crunchy, they are warm because they toast them” (via HuffPost). The brainchild of the writer and animator Joel Veitch, the spongmonkeys first appeared in a 2003 online video unrelated to Quiznos, titled “We Like The Moon.” In the original version, posted to the website RatherGood, the creatures sing the lyrics “we like the moon cause it is close to us” loudly and off-key. It’s an odd marketing trick, but some think it may have worked. “The song was improvised with my brother Alex. We had been to the pub, and bashed the song out when we got home. I made the lyrics up as I went along, and it was recorded on to a video camera. The next morning I watched it back, still liked it, so I put together the animation and whacked it up on the internet,” Veitch explained to HuffPost. Quiznos marketing team wanted to catch viewers’ attention with a dramatic ad The video racked up thousands of views and soon caught the attention of members of Quiznos’ marketing team. Trey Hall, Quiznos Chief marketing officer, told Slate the goal was to create a “dramatic” ad that could compensate for their comparatively small advertising budget by catching viewer’s attention in a brief airtime spot. Featuring the bizarre yet undeniably memorable spongmonkeys in their ads would help them generate brand awareness and buzz around the sandwich shop. The result was a commercial campaign so strange that many people couldn’t believe they were a real advertisement and not some collective bizarre fever dream. The spongmonkeys were the mascot of the sandwich chain until the end of 2004, when the commercials were discontinued, per Adweek. They generated plenty of attention but also drew the ire of Quiznos franchisees. While the television campaign was relatively short-lived, the strange creatures have continued to live a spirited second life online. As one of the internet’s earliest memes, spongmonkeys have continued to be featured in viral videos, Reddit boards, and Twitter posts around the web from 2003 on. As Know Your Meme reports, pictures and videos of the deformed, rodent-esque creatures are still floating around the internet today, almost two decades after they made their first hallucinatory appearance on our TV screens.

Don’t delay. Read now.

In 2004 Quiznos launched a bizarre chain of commercials …

r/videos – In 2004 Quiznos launched a bizarre chain of commercials featuring….the Spongmonkeyshttp://rathergood.com/2015/11/03/classic-rathergood-stuff/See you in like, 2007.

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Quiznos' Spongmonkeys – Top 10 Creepiest Product Mascots

Top 10 Creepiest Product Mascots – TIME Prev 2 of 10 Next They look like deformed rats. But, in fact, they’re called spongmonkeys. (We don’t know what that means either.) Spongmonkeys are so abnormal and freaky that, as Quiznos’ short-lived mascot, they were more likely to make people lose their appetite for a sandwich rather than gain it. In 2003, the sandwich chain discovered the bizarre levitating creations, which were created by a guy named Joel Veitch, and thought they’d be perfect for their new ad campaign. In the ads, their eyes bulge and shrink as they screech about the subs being toasty. The weirdo ads did a fine job of creeping everyone out and, at the least, got people talking about Quiznos. Next Jack of Jack in the Box

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