Subaru makes people as safe as its cars

The automaker continues to take an off-beat approach to build awareness and a deeper connection around features and benefits.

Subaru is shining its headlights on safety across its models in its latest campaign.

Featuring three of its vehicles – the Ascent, Legacy and Forester – in three different spots, the ads show humans with features and characteristics that would make them “as safe as a Subaru.” Features in the three different spots show pre-collision braking stopping a collision on a slide, traction control helping people traverse icy walkways and blindspot recognition keeping one woman stopping another from being hit by a cyclist.

“We’re reinforcing Subaru’s leadership in safety,” says Ted Lalka, VP, marketing and product management for Subaru.  “Research confirms that safety is one of the main reasons that we end up on consumers’ consideration lists.  People identify us as a unique alternative to other brands that is dedicated to quality and safety. This campaign strengthens those key messages.”

A recent Subaru campaign for its Impreza model highlighted how the vehicle is a panacea to boredom in creative reminiscent of pharma ads. That continued a strategy at Subaru of improving its awareness by taking off-beat approaches to showing off features and benefits that resonate with car buyers.

When it comes to safety features, Lalka says the challenge Subaru currently faces is a “crowded marketplace” where every automotive manufacturer is advertising a variety of technologies, which are important to consumers when they consider buying a vehicle.

“Many companies will focus on one key technology or attribute and show demonstrations or dramatizations that feature the vehicles in everyday scenarios,” he says.  “We looked to break through by leveraging people and showcasing them in situations that were similar to driving scenarios.  Not only is this unique but it allows for a more emotional connection when conveying a message based around safety.”

Subaru launched the campaign nationally employing a blend of online, social media and TV. The strategy and creative development was led by Zulu Alpha Kilo, while Agence Rinaldi took care of the Quebec market creative. OMD was in charge of the media planning and buying.