Ad of the Day: Adult Swim Cooks Up a Faux Infomercial for Subway

Subtember to remember

Adult Swim is veeeery, very gingerly getting into product placement, and this first big ad from the network, for Subway, is a big win.

It's hard to mesh Adult Swim's sensibilities with the innate conservatism of most product brands, but Subway has spent a lot of time and energy on appearing unpretentious and cool (remember Britta's love interest on Community, the man named Subway?), and this is right in its wheelhouse.

As with recent spots for Old Spice, this piece is funny mostly because of how expertly it mocks the whole medium of advertising, particularly infomercials. Adult Swim's pods are very short, and this piece is the right length to fill one (yup, it's 90 seconds long, and it will air Wednesday night on the linear network). Irony or no irony, the piece manages to get across everything Subway wants you to know: cheap eats, healthy, easy, located everywhere.

The star is Mookie Blaiklock, late of ABC's very funny, over-titled Don't Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, as well as Comedy Bang! Bang! on IFC. Adult Swim tends to get up-and-coming comedians for this sort of thing—witness its 2011 spot for Wendy's.

The Subway work is a good riff on old-fashioned infomercials of the kind arguably perfected by Dr. Nick Riviera and Troy McClure (you may remember him from such films as P Is for Psycho and The President's Neck Is Missing) in their ad for the Juice Loosener on The Simpsons. Blaiklock is a lot of fun as Sal Lami, and the sound editing on this piece is tops—the air guitar/drum solo/three-pointer finish is great.

Overally, it's a well-crafted spot that points up many of the good things a smart team can do when they've got plenty of time to work up a head of steam. Adult Swim is a network that will absolutely lose viewer share if it starts to clutter the airwaves, so making ads that fit in tonally and keep the joke rate high is important. Given those requirements, this seems like a pretty safe bet.