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Subaru Campaign Hits Hard With A Horrific Car Wreck–And Dogs

It’s not what you think. The carmaker strikes two very different tones to talk about safety and doggy drivers.

Subaru Campaign Hits Hard With A Horrific Car Wreck–And Dogs
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Car commercials have become a little less predictable in recent years. But whether using goofy humor or earnest automotive excitement, one element remains pretty reliable–the cars in the ads look like they just left the showroom. We know at some point we’re going to see it moving, we’re going to see the interior, exterior, maybe hear about some available extras and other performance highlights. What we don’t typically see is the advertised vehicle completely and totally wrecked.


Subaru’s new ad does just that to make a serious and impactful statement about its safety record. Created by agency Carmichael Lynch and directed by Lance Acord, there is little more than two words spoken in the whole spot, “They lived.” But used against the image of a totaled Forester, that’s all you really need to hear. It’s paired with stories of survival from real Subaru owners.

Then for something completely different, the brand goes from heavy to hilarious with its second set of spots, directed by Brian Lee Hughes. Here we meet The Barkleys, just your average American family of retrievers living the suburban dream.

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Both executions work well to balance the brand’s voice in that sweet spot between silly and severe. Still not sure about that doggy make-out session, though.

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity.

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