Subway enlists a hockey god to promote its Green Goddess sandwiches

Moose is on the menu at Subway Canada. The sandwich chain has enlisted Canadian hockey legend Mark Messier, a player whose hard-charging style of play earned him the nickname “The Moose,” to promote its new line of “Green Goddess” sandwiches.

The ad from Dentsu McGarryBowen continues the “Eat Fresh Refresh” campaign that debuted in April, built around the concept of professional athletes but amateur spokespeople. Previous ads featured snowboarder Mark McMorris and Montreal-born tennis star Leylah Fernandez awkwardly promoting Subway’s various menu items while struggling to follow off-screen direction.

The Messier ad extends the theme, with the longtime NHLer struggling to deliver on direction to smile more, and balking at the request to exclaim “yummy yummy.” At one point in the spot, Messier is instructed to raise the cup, which leads him to mimic lifting the Stanley Cup above his head—something he did six times as a player—only for the director to say “the one on the table.”

“Mark is one of the greatest NHL players of all time and embodies what a lot of Canadians aspire to. It was obviously an honour to have him agree to be a spokesperson for Subway,” said Dentsu Creative’s chief creative officer, Rich Pryce-Jones. “Even as a retired pro-athlete, he’s very conscious of his health, diet, fitness- training and clean eating, which aligns perfectly with Subway’s goal to provide fresh, healthier alternatives in the QSR space.”

The ads are supporting the QSR’s new Green Goddess dressing, which it describes as having a “creamy yogurt-base, parsley, tarragon and chives, plus a tangy hint of lemon,” and three new sandwiches: Green Goddess Rotisserie-Style Chicken, Green Goddess Veggie and the Stampede BBQ Grilled Chicken.

“At its core, the refresh is more than simply updates to our menu; it’s about showing Canadians we listen to what they want and pride ourselves on delivering the quality, service, and value they deserve,” said Subway Canada country director Doug Fry in a release.

It will be interesting, however, to see how these ads play in British Columbia, where Messier’s ill-fated turn with the Vancouver Canucks in the late 1990s—a stint that ended in failure and acrimony—led to him being routinely called the franchise’s “most hated” player of all time.

Carat handled media for the campaign, with Veritas responsible for public relations.

Chris Powell