Whatever Happened To The Quiznos Spongmonkey Mascot?

The bizarre, screeching rodents known inexplicably as "spongmonkeys" first appeared on TV screens in 2004, quite literally singing the praises of Quiznos subs. The creatures disconcertingly floated in front of a Quiznos building, shrieking lines like "we love the subs, coz they are good to us," and "they are tasty, they are crunchy, they are warm because they toast them" (via HuffPost).

The brainchild of the writer and animator Joel Veitch, the spongmonkeys first appeared in a 2003 online video unrelated to Quiznos, titled "We Like The Moon." In the original version, posted to the website RatherGood, the creatures sing the lyrics "we like the moon cause it is close to us" loudly and off-key. It's an odd marketing trick, but some think it may have worked.

"The song was improvised with my brother Alex. We had been to the pub, and bashed the song out when we got home. I made the lyrics up as I went along, and it was recorded on to a video camera. The next morning I watched it back, still liked it, so I put together the animation and whacked it up on the internet," Veitch explained to HuffPost.

Quiznos marketing team wanted to catch viewers' attention with a dramatic ad

The video racked up thousands of views and soon caught the attention of members of Quiznos' marketing team. Trey Hall, Quiznos Chief marketing officer, told Slate the goal was to create a "dramatic" ad that could compensate for their comparatively small advertising budget by catching viewer's attention in a brief airtime spot. Featuring the bizarre yet undeniably memorable spongmonkeys in their ads would help them generate brand awareness and buzz around the sandwich shop.

The result was a commercial campaign so strange that many people couldn't believe they were a real advertisement and not some collective bizarre fever dream. The spongmonkeys were the mascot of the sandwich chain until the end of 2004, when the commercials were discontinued, per Adweek. They generated plenty of attention but also drew the ire of Quiznos franchisees.

While the television campaign was relatively short-lived, the strange creatures have continued to live a spirited second life online. As one of the internet's earliest memes, spongmonkeys have continued to be featured in viral videos, Reddit boards, and Twitter posts around the web from 2003 on. As Know Your Meme reports, pictures and videos of the deformed, rodent-esque creatures are still floating around the internet today, almost two decades after they made their first hallucinatory appearance on our TV screens.