Burning Man threatens to sue over Quiznos ad

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The sandwich chain taunts the desert festival as a commercialized stop for rich kids

Burning Man festival is reportedly considering taking legal action over a parody created by sandwich chain Quiznos that pokes fun at the event as a check box on rich kids' bucket lists.

The sandwich chain developed a 2:45-minute parody of the festival, which took place in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, last week.

The parody, which also mocks "The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials" features a voiceover in the style of an action thriller, saying: "We don't know why, but Millennials are willing to fork out tonnes of cash to go to an over-crowded festival in the middle of the desert."

It pans in on an intense character in a tent protecting the gateway to the festival, testing whether a group of revellers are ready to go in.

"The world outside is hanging on by a very thin, non-GMO, cruelty free, organic hemp thread. Beyond this tent flat lies the beginning of your new lives as Burners," the character warns.

It then flashes to a shot of the same man quizzing the group leader in a cafe, saying: "Don't you want to know how to look cool on Instagram?" before they enter the festival with scenes including a "Google exec fire-jousting with P Diddy" and people exchanging massages for Quiznos sandwiches.

"They lied to us," the group proclaims. "This isn't an anti-establishment society based on radical self-expression, it's become a place for rich people to check off their bucket list."

Burning Man said it was considering legal action over the video, which it said breached the festival's intellectual property.

The viral success of the ad reflects Quiznos' new digital-first strategy. Quiznos filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2014, emerging from it three months later. In February 2015, the company announced it would focus on digital instead of TV ads.

Matthew Rothenberg contributed to this report.

This article appeared on marketingmagazine.co.uk.


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