It remains a bit of a mystery how Martin sold through a national campaign starring these disturbing little Joel Veich creations. In an entertaining column in Slate last winter, Seth Stevenson hinted at some of the confusion among viewers as to what the hell these things were. Stevenson wrote: “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.”
Yet Stevenson (and many others) found the Spongmonkeys to be great ad characters. “Grade: A,” he wrote. “You’re either gonna give this one an A or an F, and I respect those of you who go with F. The spongmonkeys are no doubt divisive characters. But what can I say? I love the subs!”
“As we look into 2005, we weren’t quite connecting,” claims the CMO at Quiznos. For the next campaign, did Martin want to use Veich’s Sumo Florist or something?
—Posted by Tim Nudd