Separating the diehards from the fakers

Prefer to enjoy nature than take selfies in front of a tent? Subaru Outback's new campaign is for you.

The largest media campaign Subaru has ever done is aiming to appeal to mature Canadians who want to differentiate themselves as true adventure seekers.

Using creative developed by DDB Canada’s Toronto office, the new spots take the message of its Outback line’s “Get Out More” campaign that came with the previous generation of SUVs in 2010 and narrows it down to the true adventure seekers.

“We are talking about individuals that are really getting out and doing stuff instead of just getting to the fringe,” says Geoff Craig, director of marketing at Subaru Canada. “What we’ve found through focus groups is that there’s a big segment of SUV buyers that don’t use them outdoors, or think they do but aren’t really.”

One of the spots features a group of 20-somethings setting up a full campsite, only to take the entire thing down once they’ve taken the perfect outdoor selfie. In the background, a couple in a new Outback drives by before cutting through the forest for a secluded kayak ride.


The campaign targets Canadians between the ages of 40 and 60. While it may seem counterintuitive for Canada’s older markets to be the ones going off-road or flying down a ski hill, Subaru is basing its target on results from focus groups dating back to 2010.

“We would love for that target to be a bit younger and fish in a bigger pool, but we really appeal to that older, active-lifestyle demographic,” Craig says. “Each time we’re in these focus groups, the clear message is that the target market enjoys outdoor activities. That’s anything from antiquing to kayaking. Just being outdoors is really part of the lifestyle.”

Running until mid-March, the campaign will also feature online banner ads that can direct people to their nearest national or provincial park, as well as in-dealership photo displays, display media on Canada’s ski hills and print ads in lifestyle magazines. The spots are primarily going to run on TV, but they will also be used as online pre-roll and have a significant presence in Canada’s cinemas. OMD Canada handled the media buy on the campaign.

Craig says this is the largest investment Subaru has made into a media campaign to match its largest-ever vehicle launch with the next-generation Outbacks.

“Sales are successful and Subaru is on a roll,” he says of now being the right time for a campaign of this scope. “We want to give the brand a push with the new Outback arriving. Dealers have been very excited for this to come out, so it’s a good time to make some noise.”