The latest Subaru Outback gets returned to the wild

The automaker personifies its new model as a predator set free in its natural habitat to attract younger, outdoorsy drivers.

Subaru-Canada-Wilderness-mainjpgSubaru is going after a slightly younger, more outdoorsy Outback driver with a “wild” spot highlighting its enhanced off-road capabilities.

The latest campaign, “Set it Free,” takes a zoomorphic approach to the automaker’s latest Outback Wilderness model, which is depicted as a snarling animal being being airlifted by chopper to its natural habitat and then released by fearful biologists.

The strategic approach for Subaru’s marketing, according to Cynthia Bouris, director of marketing and brand management for Subaru Canada, is to be big and bold to get noticed. Returning the car to its habitat, “where it can thrive and flex the full extent of its capability, [is] a fun and unexpected way to communicate how rugged this new model actually is.”

The creative concept was inspired by the new model, she says, which constitutes a new direction for the Outback that’s bolder and sportier, which the automaker hopes will attract new consumers.

“Enabling adventure, inspiring confidence and encouraging owners to explore the outdoors has always been a part of Subaru’s DNA,” Bouris says. “However, the new Outback Wilderness raises the bar to the next level, with enhanced off-road capability and utility.

Subaru-Canada-WildernessThe automaker’s main objective was to bring this message across with a strong mass media mix including TV, digital, social, and OOH.

There’s also an experiential activation in Toronto in which the vehicle is in a large crate and “set free” to a younger, condo demographic courtesy of a zookeeper (pictured, right).

Though media weight and spend is aligned with previous launch-style campaigns, Bouris says the digital and social spends are elevated and more strategically targeted to young ubranites as well.

She reports that while the pandemic hasn’t really changed its target demo, it has likely expanded the size of this audience, with many more people exploring the country and enjoying more outdoor adventure then in years past.

Zulu Alpha Kilo, Subaru’s AOR, handled the creative, and the campaign launch coincides with the arrival of the new Outback Wilderness model to dealerships in Canada. There was assistance from Agence Rinaldi on French creative and OMD on media.

Previous campaigns supporting the Outback have also focused on The Great Outdoors, with the vehicle coming face to face with a mountain goat, a play on the “greatest of all time” acronym to show off its various features.

Recently, the tactic of going “big” was rendered literally too, as the automaker did an OOH campaign for its Subaru Ascent, which did not fit typical traditional media space parameters.