NEW YORK: Quiznos, the quick-service restaurant chain, has successfully connected with millennial consumers through making highly effective use of content marketing.

Chris Ruszkowski, vp/advertising and marketing at Quiznos, discussed this aspect of the company's strategy while speaking at the VideoNuze 2014 Online Video Advertising Summit.

More specifically, he spoke about the roll out of Toasty.TV, a content hub the brand uses to provide a range of material, from videos to photos, music and art – and which marked a deliberate attempt to engage millennials.

However, this platform is simply part of a far wider strategy that has seen Quiznos share its content through a mixture of social channels.

"Brands that were having success were doing things differently. They're acting more like a publisher, versus just an advertiser," said Ruszkowski. (For more, including details of the Quiznos 'Mad X-Men' viral video, read Warc's exclusive report: Quiznos attracts millennials with content marketing.)

"They were doing more storytelling versus just advertising. We had this wake-up call and we knew we needed to do something different."

Given that the millennial audience is both large – numbering around 87m people – and a vital demographic for chains like Quiznos, inaction was not an option.

"People are watching this content in different ways. They're no longer sitting at home in the living room with the family, watching ABC, NBC and CBS every night like they did," Ruszkowski said.

With so many brands competing for attention on digital channels, though, achieving cut through can be challenging. "There's more content out there than there has ever been before," he added.

One indicator of Quiznos' rapid progress was "House of Thrones" a viral video mash-up of two popular TV series, Game of Thrones and House of Cards.

This content received over 1.5m views in just two weeks on YouTube, where it also prompted a substantial increase in the brand's subscriber base.

Approximately 200 media organisations across the globe picked up the content, too, further adding to its viral success.

Data sourced from Warc