Subaru surge powered by NFL-averse, dog-friendly ad strategy

As car and truck brands flood NFL games with TV ads in the coming weeks, Subaru is staying on the sidelines once again — and with good reason. The automaker, which has long preferred the Puppy Bowl over the Super Bowl and the outdoors to the end zone, is enjoying big sales gains.
Subaru is sticking to its targeted formula as it begins marketing the redesigned 2018 Crosstrek, which began entering the increasingly competitive subcompact crossover market in August. Two new emotional ads by Carmichael Lynch continue the long running “Love” campaign and feature tales about a dog’s loyalty and grandfather-grandson surfing adventure.
In a new digital twist, Subaru will run banner ads on Amazon that target people shopping for outdoor gear. People searching for propane stoves, for instance, will be served ads that recommend the Crosstrek, along with copy that says, “You found your ride. Now go find your adventure.”
“We don’t buy commercial time in the NFL or any other professional sport,” says Alan Bethke, senior vice president of marketing at Subaru of America. “Subaru is very clear of who we are,” he added. “We don’t use a shotgun approach to just try to say ‘If you are a football fan you are going to like Subaru.’ We think we can be more sophisticated than that.”
The results speak for themselves: Subaru of America sold 360,513 vehicles through July, up 8.7 percent from the same period a year earlier, as the overall U.S. market declined 2.9 percent, according to data compiled by Automotive News. August sales reports are due later today.
“Subaru has just gotten it right on a number of levels,” says Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst for AutoTrader. “Their product is right in the heart of what consumers are demanding right now, SUVs or cars that are SUV-like. They’ve also done a fabulous job of marketing those vehicles to resonate with an audience that doesn’t necessarily follow the traditional [path]. They are outdoorsy. They are dog lovers. So they are not necessarily into the NFL [and] sports and such.”
The Crosstrek arrives as Subaru seeks to build momentum in the hot subcompact crossover segment. When the first-generation Crosstrek debuted in 2012, it only had one rival, the Nissan Juke. But the segment is now crowded with more than 10 players, as Automotive News recently pointed out.
New spots
The new spots are directed by cinematographer Lance Acord, whose credits include “Being John Malkovich” and “Lost in Translation.” One ad, called “Forever Young,” portrays a grandfather meeting up with his grandson for a secret surfing outing. While the kid pulls up in a Crosstreck, the grandpa shows up in a 1991 Subaru GL. The older model was included to spotlight Subaru’s longevity. The grandkid-grandpa tale is meant to appeal to millennials, which “have a propensity to like that generational bond, maybe more so than the prior generation like Gen X,” Bethke says.
Fuente:. Automotive News