Subaru wants to give drivers a taste of its latest model

Branded hot sauce and an AR game are part of an experiential-focused push behind the new BRZ.


Subaru and agency partner Zulu Alpha Kilo have cooked up something spicy for the launch of its all-new BRZ.

The automaker has launched “Ignite Your Senses,” a campaign to promote the new model that leans heavily on experiential tactics to build love for the incoming nameplate. The campaign launched with an online film that shows a curious pizzeria customer whose eye is caught by the BRZ parked outside a restaurant. The chef then gives him a bottle of BRZ-branded hot sauce, which sends him on a heated driving fantasy.

Now, Subaru is inviting Canadians to take the spin themselves, having made up a batch of BRZ hot sauce to be distributed through select dealerships and as giveaways on social media, allowing consumers to take a so-called “taste drive” in the new vehicle.

Subaru-BRZ-spot“This latest BRZ model launch had to make drivers feel something visceral and fun,” said Gary Sappleton, director of marketing and brand management at Subaru Canada. “Delivering uncommon experiences that capture the thrilling performance and style of the all-new BRZ will help rally our passionate fanbase.”

The hot sauce isn’t the only experience that the automaker has in store for Canadians, however. A code on the bottle also leads them to a Snap AR gaming lens, which allows them to take the wheel of a BRZ and drive it through a timed street course, snagging as many chili peppers as they can. Players steer in the AR by moving their head, and are given a real-time view of their expressions as they play the game.

The unorthodox approach to the campaign plays into Subaru’s overall platform, “Welcome to Uncommon.” While hot sauce and sports cars might not seem like the most obvious bedfellows, “hot sauce has become a cultural phenomenon in recent years,” according to Wain Choi, ECD at Zulu. “By tapping into that rich culture, we can push the boundaries on how to spark interest and trial of a new vehicle.”

Zulu worked with its production arm, Zulubot, to develop the strategy and creative for the campaign. The work spans not only the AR lens and online video, but also social content, OOH, digital takeovers and package design. Agence Rinaldi handled Quebec market creative and OMD handled media planning and buying.