Subaru wants to redefine the 1% experience

The brand's new BRZ sports car spots are all about luxury for the rest of us.

Subaru wants to make at least one part of the privileged life of the 1% available to the rest of us in a new campaign for its new BRZ sports car.

In one spot, the car cruises through a city, hounded by paparazzi, who are disappointed when the window rolls down to reveal a normal, non-famous couple. In another, a couple is taking selfies in front of a parked BRZ before the real (average guy) owner shows up.

The spots, in English and French, were produced by Red Urban, directed by Mark Gilbert of Toronto-based Untitled Films and were edited by Marc Langley at Rooster Post. The media buy was done by OMD.

“We did research and we have a lot of auto junkies at the agency, and we found the way that the press have always already talked about the BRZ is that it’s a ‘supercar,’” says Christina Yu, EVP and ECD at Red Urban. “It’s been mentioned so many times, so when we got the brief, we saw it drives like a ‘supercar’ but the price is attainable, so we took that idea to bring the experience of the 1% to everyday people.”

Yu adds that the tone of the spots is somewhat playful in order to strike a balance between showing a luxury experience and one that’s still accessible. Given that one of the ads earned 130,000 organic views in its first three days on Facebook, she believes it is resonating.

That idea is also being reflected in print and digital banners ads. There, a single “incredible” part from a luxury car, like its suspension or a supercharger, is shown with its price. That’s put next to the BRZ, which is “also incredible,” but available for a lower price.

“We all try to attain more, nicer things and many people think price is a huge thing in terms of making something better,” Yu says of the insight that drove the campaign. “What we’re trying to position is the idea that you can get great for a good price. You don’t have to be rich to get great. That’s a core insight for anybody in any category, which we thought made it an approachable idea.”

The BRZ is a joint venture between Subaru and Toyota, and is sold under different brands (Toyota 86, Toyota GT86 and Scion FR-Z) in different markets, with a starting price point of around $27,000.

Red Urban also launched a new campaign for the Subaru Impreza at the end of March. That TV spot took the performance-focused positioning the brand had typically done, showing the car tackle the toughest terrain, before transitioning it to everyday situations like birthday parties to frustrating work commutes.

In April, Subaru Canada reported sales over 9,000 vehicles for the first three months of 2015, an increase of 13.1% from the same period in 2014 and its best first quarter sales results ever in Canada. March also marked the 15th consecutive month of increased sales in Canada for the company, one of the longest streaks it has held globally.