Subaru Commercials — What Are They Telling Us?
After seeing many, many, many Subaru car commercials on TV, sometimes it’s a little bit difficult trying to determine just who the company is trying to market the car to these days.
It’s almost like the commercials are classifying the Subaru drivers in a class above everybody else, making them part of a niche. Kind of like “I drive a Subaru and you don’t, so you’ll never understand.”
I’ve got nothing against the cars. It’s just that the commercials tend to give conflicting information.
Let’s take a look at a few of them and see.
This first commercial still plays today. It starts with a kid running around in a super hero costume and playing outside.
Nothing wrong there.
He then sees what appears to be his neighbor, a late 20-something male, getting into his car. The kid pops up from behind the bushes and asks, “Is that your new car?”
“Uh, yeah,” replied the driver.
“Cool,” said the kid.
The commercial ends with the guy driving away and smiling to himself, glad that his car met the approval of a random six-year-old kid.
What’s next, getting the approval of a random five-year-old girl when you’re buying a suit and tie?
Are they, the Subaru marketing department, serious?
Let me ask you this.
In this day and age, people say that we shouldn’t judge people, but that isn’t true and this commercial is proof. If you’re a male and in your mid to late 20′s, is it more important to show off a car to: A) some random kid, B) a teenage girl, C) a woman in her mid 20′s, D) your friends, E) your boss, or F) none of the above.
According to this commercial, it’s important that a young, disrespectful kid approves of the car. I’m sure that he would also approve of a Chevy Corvette, Acura Integra or even a Hyundai Tiburon. A script showing a kid liking a car does not show off its features or actually convince anybody to go out there and buy a Subaru. Notice how the kid shows the older person no respect, not addressing him as “mister,” and ending the brief conversation with the slang “cool.”
Yeah, that really makes me want to buy a Subaru. /sarcasm
This next commercial is also currently airing on TV.
This time around we have a male driving over to his wrecked Subaru in the junkyard. It’s a fresh wreck as he is seen reaching into the back to retrieve something like a briefcase. He then pauses for a moment before going back inside to retrieve the shifter knob as a souvenir. The commercial ends with him driving away in his new car (appears to be the same model and color of his wrecked Subaru), letting us know that he’ll never forget about how his Subaru saved his life.
Okay, so why am I supposed to buy a Subaru based on this commercial?
Lots of people walk away from nasty car wrecks each day, and I’m willing to bet that other car manufacturers and models saved their lives. It’s not like only Subaru makes safe cars.
According to Cars.com and their top safety picks, oddly enough, lots of manufacturers and models are featured as being safe cars, not just Subaru. Volvo, for example, is widely known for its attitude and approach to safety.
I get it that this person is grateful for the car that saved his life and promptly bought another one, but as a consumer, this means nothing. Lots of people are attached to their favorite car manufacturers and models. You can find die hard fans and enthusiasts for nearly any make or model.
Again, this Subaru commercial gives me no reason to buy one.
Up next we have a commercial that aired about a year or two ago.
A guy is driving a Subaru Forester on its last legs to a place simply called “Subaru Heaven.” It’s just a tree on a hill out in the middle of nowhere.
The general impression here is that the car is too good to just “die” in a junkyard. It’s supposedly worth it to drive two days in each direction just to let a car sit and rot in a field.
Um, pollution? Trashing the environment? Hello?
For quite a while, Subaru cars have been marketed to those outdoorsy people, whether they actually go hiking and driving out in the country or not. Some people like to pretend they like the outdoors and just drive big ass four-wheel drive cars and SUVs when it’s really not necessary. Others actually take said cars out on dirt roads and through the snow and mountains. But the bottom line is that marketing a car to outdoor people implies that those same people like the outdoors and care for the environment.
So should somebody who supposedly likes the environment leave their car out to rust and pollute the environment?
No, of course not.
Those people would generally rather recycle their car and have its spirit live on in other products or even other cars. In one Subaru commercial a year or two ago (back in those “love” commercial days), people were stating why their loved their Subaru, and one stereotypical woman stated that she loved her Subaru because it was built in a zero landfill assembly plant. Would that woman who loves the zero landfill plant approve of letting an old car sit out by a tree and rust?
No way. That would be hypocritical.
What we have here is Subaru telling us how some people love the zero landfill assembly plants, while others love to pollute and leave their car to rot and trash the wilderness.
This commercial with the guy driving far out of his way just to let an inanimate object of his affection “die” in the wilderness is just ridiculous.
Again, this Subaru commercial gives me no good reason to buy one. If anything, it tells me that some Subaru owners are lunatics.
This next commercial is also about a year or two old.
Here we have an avid outdoor person who doesn’t care that his car gets filthy. People write messages on the windows, but he obviously doesn’t care. No, he’ll just let the rain wash away the layers of mud and dirt caked onto his car, as if that really works. I’ve tried it, but as I’ve experienced in our heavy Georgia pollen season, rain works best when washing away fresh dirt and pollen, not stuff that’s been on the car for more than a few days.
As opposed to the first Subaru commercial where the driver fed his ego when a random kid liked his car, this commercial is just the opposite. The driver does not care what others think about his Subaru. He loves to take it outdoors, and that’s all that matters.
We’re again seeing a clash of interests in Subaru commercials in a one or two year time span.
In one advertising campaign it was okay to not wash and take care of the car’s appearance, while in the latest trend it’s important to have a nice looking, flashy car to impress the children and feel good about yourself. That same kid in the first commercial would probably tell this outdoor guy to wash his damn car.
Again, this Subaru commercial gives me no good reason to buy one.
Let’s cut to the chase.
Is Subaru selling the car, or the people that love the cars so much?
If they’re selling the cars, they’re doing a horrible job at that. Subarus can sell themselves just by being a Subaru. Those are trendy cars and people generally love to drive them. None of those commercials showed me features, or anything of interest for that matter, that made me want to go out and buy one.
If Subaru is selling the people that drive the cars, again, they’re doing a horrible job. In no commercial did I see a situation that only occurred with having a Subaru. Lots of cars are flashy and stylish, lots of them have high government safety ratings, and all of them can get dirty when neglected by their owners or left out in a field instead of being disposed of properly.
None of those commercials told me to go out there and buy a Subaru.
But the cars keep selling even as the company continues to make strange and sometimes conflicting advertisements.
Great cars, strange marketing campaigns.
The company needs to look into its recent history and bring back the Paul “Crocodile Dundee” Hogan commercials. He made the Subaru Outback an awesome looking car, even if it was just a glorified station wagon.
Subaru is a TradeMark of Fuji Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha and used without permission.