Subaru reaches for the stars

A new campaign for the Outback encourages Canadians to get out of the city and see the skies.


City life can be great, but have you ever seen the stars? According to Subaru Canada, 85% of us are missing out.

That’s prompted a new campaign for the automaker’s latest Outback model, aimed at encouraging Canadians to hop in their vehicles and enjoy the night sky, away from the city.

The “#SubaruDarkSky” campaign, developed by Red Urban, includes a new spot, running online and in cinema, featuring a couple of enthusiastic parents bugging their tired-looking kids to get in the car for a late-night drive, only to have the younger family members perk up at the sight of an extraordinary star-filled sky.

The campaign also includes a microsite with more information about the constellations, stargazing tips, meteor showers and more from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, a partner on the campaign.

The main spot is meant to show a real moment that many of the brand’s target consumers – families with active lifestyles – have, says Joe Felstein, director of marketing at Subaru Canada. In other words, families often just hop in their car and take a drive to get out there, he says.

Though the Outback appeals to mid-40s parents, it also resonates with active consumers generally, he says.

The idea for the campaign came up about a year ago but the timing wasn’t right to use it for the Outback. “We were just waiting for the right opportunity to make sure we matched it with the right product line to really resonate with the consumers and make it a good fit for our brand,” he says.

“#SubaruDarkSky” is being supported with digital display ads, print ads in outdoor and lifestyle magazines and a close captioning sponsorship on TV, with OMD on media.

Through summer and into fall, it will also involve social media content and experiential events, though Felstein says it’s too early to provide all the details for that part of the campaign.