Jimmy John’s Would Rather Buy You a House in Its Delivery Zone Than Bring You a Stale Sub

The chain's new contest offers $250,000 toward a real home

You can't get a Jimmy John's sandwich delivered beyond a 5-minute radius from the store. So maybe the chain can relocate you closer?
Jimmy John's

Jimmy John’s execs, I hope you’re ready to be flooded with entries for your “Home in the Zone” contest.

After all, there’s a housing crunch going on across the country, especially in desirable cities, and a prize of $250,000 to spend on a home could make plenty of folks salivate, whether or not they’re devotees of your salami and double cheese subs.

The chain is launching the sweepstakes today with a campaign from agency WorkInProgress that focuses on its policy of delivering food only within a limited, 5-minute radius of its approximately 2,800 stores.

According to the launch ad, some fans go to great lengths to get Jimmy John’s delivered, including setting up a faux residence, complete with white picket fence. Their cover is blown (the flimsy facade crashing to the ground), but not before they have their subs in hand.

But what if they could actually live in a sandwich-supplied neighborhood? To enter, consumers outside the zones will need to write 250-word essays (presumably impassioned, clever or groundbreaking), and 500 will be chosen at random and then judged on their content.

The restaurant “can’t deliver sandwiches to our customers who live outside of our delivery zones, but we can deliver our customers to our sandwiches,” says CMO John Shea, a PepsiCo veteran.

The stunt comes at an interesting time, no doubt not lost on the brand, when the median home listing price is $226,800, according to Zillow. The number varies greatly by state and has ballooned since the 1960s, when it was $11,900, or $96,681 adjusted for inflation. Rents are also skyrocketing.

Meanwhile, the Illinois-based Jimmy John’s, founded by 19-year-old Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983, has made a point of not using popular delivery services like Uber Eats and DoorDash. The $13 billion third-party food-delivery business is growing, but the marketer notes that 35% of customers say they had problems with such deliveries and “76% hold the restaurant partially responsible for those errors.”

Hence, Jimmy John’s “would rather buy someone a house than deliver them a not-fresh sandwich,” says WorkInProgress partner and creative, Matt Talbot. “If that isn’t a commitment to being Freaky Fast and Freaky Fresh, I don’t know what is.”

Media buys will include national TV on some 30 networks including ABC, FX, TBS, ESPN, Bravo and CBS, and digital and social platforms Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Hulu. And those who are already in Jimmy John’s-adjacent locations aren’t left out. Five winners will get free sandwiches and free delivery for a year.

CREDITS:

Client: Jimmy John’s
CMO: John Shea

Director Of Consumer Engagement: Nathan Louer
Director Of Customer Acquisition & Loyalty: Suzanne Derouchie
Senior Designer: Chris Phillips
Marketing Operations Senior Manager: Kristi Kaiser
Head Of Consumer Video & Chief Editor: Spencer Liautaud

Agency: WorkInProgress
Partner_creative        Matt Talbot
Creative Director        Stephen Dalton
Creative Director        Lauren Perlow
Associate Creative Director Josh Shelton
Associate Creative Director Haley Garyet
Senior Designer            Jimmy Rosen
Partner_production                Stafford Bosak
Executive Producer   Molly Schaaf
Partner_account & Strategy             Alex Guerri
Partner_account & Strategy             Evan Russack
Director_account & Strategy            Stacy Moss
Supervisor_account & Strategy       Sally Kubancik
Partner_technology               Harold Jones

Production Company: Arts & Sciences
Production Service Company: Animals
Director: Adam & Dave
Director Of Photography: Benn Martenson
Executive Producer: Marc Marrie
Line Producer: Gillian Marr
     
Editorial Company: Mackcut Nyc
Editor: Ryan Steele
Assistant Editor: Devon Flint
Executive Producer: Gina Pagano

Color  Company: 3 (NYC)
Colorist: Tim Masick
Producer: Kevin Breheny
          
VFX & Finishing Company: Framestore (LA)
Flame Artist: Theo Maniatis (Lead), Eric Bruno
President, Advertising North America: James Razzall
Head of Production: Bethan Thomas
VFX Producer: Georgina Poushkine
Production Coordinator: Jamie Runkle

Music House: APM Music

Mix House: Coupe Studios
Audio Engineer & Sound Designer: Greg Mcrae
Audio Executive Producers: Aaron Lasko & Eric Singer