According to the Cherry Hill, N.J., company, research showed that while most auto consumers had heard of Subaru, very few of them had strong emotional connections with the brand. However, among Subaru owners there was an outspoken passion and love for the brand.
The new marketing campaign is intended to target consumers in three different stages of car buying: the heart, the head and the wallet. The "heart" stage is meant to address the love Subaru owners have for their cars via emotional stories, such as the one about four men who travel to the easternmost tip of Maine every year to be the first ones in the country to welcome the New Year. Another depicts a man taking his old Forester to a salvage yard dedicated to old Subaru cars before climbing into his new model.
The "head" stage ads are meant to be more rational approaches addressing specific Subaru models. One spot shows a married couple deciding that they'd rather sell their boat than their old Subaru when they bring a new Forester home. Another spot shows the connection Impreza owners have with each other as one man feeds an expiring meter to keep another Impreza owner from getting a parking ticket.
The "wallet" ads will focus on the financial aspects of buying a Subaru, and will include local dealer offers and other retail approaches. The new effort, from Carmichael Lynch, adds the word "Love" before the tagline developed by the company's previous agency, DDB, "It's what makes a Subaru a Subaru."
Subaru earlier this year began sponsoring flower shows in Seattle, San Francisco and Philadelphia. The company said gardening was a top hobby for owners of its Forester model. Carmichael Lynch, an Interpublic Group agency in Minneapolis, won Subaru's account last October without a review. The agency had worked with Subaru of America CMO Tim Mahoney when he was an executive with former Carmichael client Porsche Cars North America.