Subway Tries to Shade McDonald's in New Ad, With Mixed Results

Stay in your lane, Subway

"Not affiliated with McDonald's."

Subway hasn’t figured out the art of subtle shading just yet. The sandwich brand’s newest advertisement attempts a dig at McDonald's, but it's backfiring because of how annoying it is. The ad features a beep-like voice repeating the word “burger,” which is so bothersome that it has people turning off their TV sets to escape — and, even worse, inspiring potential customers to order McDonald’s.

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The offending Subway commercial portrays a heart rate monitor with McDonald’s unmistakable Golden Arches bouncing across the screen more and more quickly while the word “burger” repeats in an annoying voice. “Burger after burger after burger,” the ad reads. And then it flatlines, because Subway is using a not-so-subtle way of implying that the McDonald’s burger habit is over. While being incredibly flagrant in dismissing them, the ad helpfully points out in fine print that it is not, of course, affiliated with McDonald's. 

“Is your burger routine feeling a little flat?” the ad asks. A pop song comes on as flashes of fresh Subway ingredients like vegetables and chicken take over the screen. “Take a break from the burger at Subway,” then it ends. Social media hates it.

“This @SUBWAY burger commercial may be the most annoying thing ever. Fire your marketing team,” tweeted Andrew Forrest.

“I refuse to buy another SUBWAY SANDWICH until they take that annoying commercial of the McDonald's heartbeat off TV!!!” demanded Christine Nehls.

The ad has even inspired people to go to McDonald’s instead of Subway due to both how annoying it is and the repeated use of the word burger — which, let’s face it, sounds way better than “sandwich.”

@SUBWAY hey subway due to this really....really annoying burger commercial you guys have on every commercial break, I will be going to @McDonalds tomorrow and eating all the burgers....all of them,” wrote @Earl_Sweatpants.

“Brenden and I just saw a McDonald’s commercial and decided to order I on Uber Eats then realized the commercial was actually a Subway commercial mocking McDonalds. Either way we are minutes away from some burgers,” tweeted Twitter user Hello_misssarah.

Should the brand, which recently ditched its iconic $5 footlong deal, really be taking swings at a powerhouse like McDonald’s? More people recognize the Golden Arches than the Christian cross, so we think Subway should probably stay in their lane.

Didn’t realize how identifiable the McDonald’s logo is? Here are 25 things you didn’t know about your favorite fast food chains.