Subaru takes the fear out of winter driving

In a new campaign, the automaker turns safety features into an emotional benefit, giving drivers pride in tackling the harshest season.


Subaru is turning worst-case winter driving scenarios on their head with a new campaign designed to position its vehicles as some of the safest in winter conditions.

“Winter is Less Scary in a Subaru” builds off of the “Welcome to the Uncommon” brand platform established by the automaker last fall. It is also built around a simple insight that might come as a surprise to anyone who has hit the road during a Canadian snowstorm.

“We conducted extensive research last year and a common theme emerged: Subaru drivers are incredibly comfortable driving in the winter,” says Cynthia Bouris, VP of marketing and brand management. And that comfort actually converts to an emotional connection, as they “take real pride in being able to take on the harshest season with complete confidence.”

That confidence is visible in a 48-second spot shot like a horror film, featuring tense music and potentially frightening driving scenarios, including vehicles passing during treacherous road conditions, a Subaru switching lanes in icy conditions to let a transport truck pass, and a couple navigating a very snowy forest road.

“‘Welcome to the Uncommon’ celebrates all the wonderful things that set us apart and allow us to deliver a unique experience to our owners,” explains Bouris. “How well our vehicles perform in challenging winter conditions is a great example.”

The scenes were all shot in the Yukon, meant to show the treacherous environment that allows Subaru to promote the safety systems built into its vehicle line, including symmetrical full-time AWD.

“We really needed to create the tension,” says Wain Choi, ECD for Zulu Alpha Kilo, which developed the campaign.. “Not just in the tone but also with the volume of snow…Playing that tension off with the actual capability and safety of these vehicles is what makes this a compelling campaign.”

The campaign is launching across social media and high-impact digital, along with traditional media. Agence Rinaldi handled Quebec market creative and OMD handled media planning and buying.