Skip to main content

When we roll, we roll like idiots

If you've not seen's viral video pitch for sandwich maker Subway, head on over to YouTube and check it out. New York-based is one of the leading full service interactive agencies in the world, and was recently invited to pitch for the Subway account and produce a five-minute video about itself.

Instead, the team decided to create what described as a "hipster orgasm" and uploaded it to YouTube. The video was of the new business team in the process of pitching for the work, and included footage of them conducting ad hoc surveys in the street, getting jobs at Subway and doing talking heads interviews with key creatives within

This is an interesting idea, and certainly has some mileage as a way of distinguishing one agency from another in the pitch roster. However, the team made two crucial mistakes: they managed to make themselves look like idiots; and then they released it on the web so everyone could see.

No such thing as bad publicity
The immediate response to the viral video was overwhelmingly negative, and it was ridiculed and parodied as soon as it emerged. may, of course, take the attitude that all publicity is good publicity, but with comments such as "It's filled with mindless business blather, self-important ad speak, fist bumps, fashionably un-tucked shirts and way too many utterances of the word 'dude'" ( and "It feels really staged and makes people who work at online agencies look like a bunch of chumps" (, I'm not sure that's the kind of press any company wants. appears to be surveying the carnage with a bemused smile. Initially, the company tried to big-up the video with virtual high-fives by creating fake YouTube accounts to pour praise on it, but this was soon sussed out by the community and now is trying a different tactic: sheepishly admitting it created an excruciatingly bad, egotistical video and rolling with it, basking in the warm glow of being an industry laughing stock. Certainly the team can point to the net chatter as some kind of measure of the video's success, making it the modern equivalent of the All Your Base Are Belong To Us video that became a bizarre cult in 2001. One of the phrases from the Subway video, "When we roll, we roll big", has become a virtual catchphrase, spawning T-shirts, parodies and other examples of the video, which have emerged into the public consciousness.

Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of the video is that it became about them and not Subway. You could have swapped out all references to Subway and replaced them with almost any other potential client, which leaves Subway in a strange position. has strong-armed the pitch process to its advantage, potentially embarrassing Subway by throwing the video on YouTube. Subway execs must be sweating and wringing their hands, wondering whether they want to employ such a bunch of egotistical idiots to manage their brand. I'll be watching what unfolds with interest.

Jason Arber is a designer and co-founder of Email him at

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.