Subaru Canada sizzles with new campaign

July 06, 2012  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

Subaru Canada wanted to ignite its brand, and DDB Canada took the challenge literally.

As part of an integrated campaign around Subaru’s new BRZ sports coupe, DDB’s Toronto office has created a new 60-second online video, “Scorched,” that positions the car as a hot addition to the Subaru lineup.

Housed on Subaru Canada’s YouTube channel, the video was created with a special camera called the Phantom that is capable of shooting up to 2,000 frames per second to produce a super slow-motion effect. The spot was directed by Toronto’s Common Good.

“When cars are awesome you just say ‘That thing is hot’ and that’s exactly how you feel when you’re in it,” said DDB’s associate creative director Paul Riss. “The car’s just awesome. Everywhere we have this car show up, its surroundings must be affected by how hot it is.”

The BRZ was already perceived as a “hot” car among auto enthusiasts and bloggers, providing Subaru with a perfect marketing platform said the car company’s director of marketing, Geoff Craig.

“What drove a lot of our thinking was this car was really catching fire with the online community,” said Craig. “People knew about the vehicle long before it was introduced to Canada, and we thought we could accelerate that momentum.

The BRZ is part of ongoing efforts to change public perception of the Subaru brand, which is known primarily for its outdoor utility vehicles like the Forester and Outback.

“What [the BRZ] is designed to do is elevate and ignite our brand, and introduce us to a new segment,” said Craig. The primary audience for the BRZ—a global brand introduced in Japan about six months ago and just making its way to North America now—is tech-savvy driving enthusiasts between the ages of 30-35.

The BRZ launch has also been supported by a special lenticular treatment on the cover of Toronto city magazine The Grid, as well as print in national newspapers and magazines showing the BRZ burning through the pages. Online ads show computer and tablet screens being burned away to reveal the BRZ.

Subaru also worked with DDB Public Relations to develop an out-of-home display in Montreal in which the BRZ was placed on a street corner surrounded by a movie-style set featuring a burned mailbox, a singed bike rack, a melted street lamp and a heat-blasted wall.

Singed wild postings surrounding the installation encouraged passersby to “tap or snap” the poster with their smartphone, taking them to a dedicated landing page where they could find out more about the car, view images and book a test drive. The display is also set to appear in Toronto.

With an approximately 2% share of the Canadian auto market, Subaru is committed to developing standout marketing, said Craig. “We need to get noticed, and to get noticed we need to be different and unique,” he said.  “We pride ourselves on always doing things a bit differently, but we’ve put work out there that hopefully makes sense to consumers.

“We’re digging deep to get more products from our parent company,” he added.  ”It’s not a volume objective for us, it’s more about driving a stronger brand and making a statement about Subaru that we make fun, sporty cars.”

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