Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Beauty of the $5 deals

Hello all! Welcome to the first post of what I'm hoping will be many more interesting posts.

I'm Ryan and based on the blog's main title, I'm a college student. I'm currently majoring in marketing and have been fascinated by the way advertisers focus their attention on specific groups of people. Even in these hard economic times, somebody has to sell their product and make a profit doing so.

Well, while I strongly believe in creating a product that is of high quality, I also appreciate that product being as affordable as possible. Which brings me to the first topic of discussion: eating. If you're a college student, you probably think eating is the #1 or #2 thing of main importance in life. After all, you need something to fuel your brain to study all those hours in the library. ;)

Lately, the fast food companies have come up with a grand plan to get even the most cash strapped consumer to think twice about making that PB & J at home. Thanks to the brilliance of the $5 footlong advertising campaigns that Subway introduced a few years ago, we now have a multitude of $5 meal deals. I've decided to rate just which meal deals are the best from what I've head the pleasure of experiencing:

1. Subway- we might as well start with the company that had the idea in the first place. Subway $5 footlongs were a great idea, though I often wonder just how much a footlong sub was back before this promotion began? For the money, a college student can expect to pay more than $5 if they think a bag of chips or a cookie and a drink is required to complete their "meal deal". Many companies have addressed this issue, stating that while Subway announces their $5 footlongs, a meal there is more than $5. So now Subway is offering a $5 meal deal that includes a 6 inch sub, chips, and a drink. Not bad, but if you can't stop getting that $5 footlong song out of your head, it's a tad bit disappointing to get a 6 inch instead.

BOTTOM LINE: They may have invented the $5 deal, but with a limited selection of subs for $5 and the fact that chips/cookie/drink cost extra for the footlong deal, they need to rethink their advertising.

2. KFC- speaking of companies that go head to head against Subway, welcome to KFC's answer to the anti-sub meal. First there was their position to make their food healthier, which means Kentucky Grilled Chicken for you! I admire their dedication toward health, but what I love the most is their new $5 fill-up boxes. With their meal, you can chose between 5 different main items (all of which are pretty popular in the chain's menu) and then you'll also get a side item and a drink for just $5. Nothing more, nothing less. It's beautiful and makes any college student with a $5 bill (and some change, stupid tax!) happy to know that this $5 meal is actually $5.

3. Quiznos- Oh Quiznos, you take my breath away. What ,with your prime rib sandwiches and your specialty subs. But that's not why I love you, oh no, it's because you've finally learned that lower prices is a good thing. And now that they have $2 flatbreads, $3 toasty bullets, $4 toasty torpedoes and $5 large subs, I have to admit, their a powerhouse for a sub restaurant. I think the $4 Toasty Torpedo is the best thing ever invented by this company, because it's a $1 cheaper than most of those $5 deals. Granted it costs extra money for the sides and drink, but at least that footlong sub isn't $5.
BOTTOM LINE: With the right amount of price choices, consumers can easily choose what their budget allows and still be satisfied in their purchase.

4. McDonalds- Wait, McDonald's doesn't have a $5 meal deal. They have the dollar menu and a new Angus Burger that, for some reason, is cheaper than most of their long-time sandwiches. So why go to McDonalds? Well....why not? With the down economy, McDonalds is booming with business, despite not being the cheapest solution to anyone's shrinking dollar problem. I'm disappointed they haven't come out with a $5 deal, but give them props for their $1.29 snack wraps and them continuing their buy one, get one free deals.
BOTTOM LINE: While this place is a mega giant for fast food, it's not the best deal anymore. In fact, I can eat more food at Subway for less money than I can at this place, which is kind of sad.

5. Little Caesars- if you're lucky enough to have this fine establishment around you, then you already know about the cheapness of this pizza place. A $5 large cheese pizza is an awesome deal, and compare that to any of the other pizza places with their "meal deals" of $15 for 3 medium pizzas. Don't forget the cheesy bread!!
BOTTOM LINE: If you're in college and you need pizza, say hello to my little friend.

6. Taco Bell- Sick of subs, chicken, and pizza? That's why they invented tacos, and this place practically runs it's advertising campaign without blinking. Whether it's the 79, 89, 99 cent campaign or introducing unique tacos and other food at a reasonable price, Taco Bell knows what tickles the consumers fancy. Even with drinks, $2.49 for a Frutista Freeze might be a tad expensive, but consumers like to reward themselves often and this drink is a perfect way to do that.
BOTTOM LINE: With a wide selection of prices and items, people will keep coming back for more. The only negative thing about Taco Bell is the lack of healthy options that appeal to the masses.

There's more I'm sure, and I'd love to hear your opinions of those and the ones posted. Until next time, peace!