With its new marketing campaign, Subaru hopes to connect with consumers emotionally.
The company is keeping its 8-year-old advertising tag line, "The beauty of all-wheel drive," and adding another: "When you get it, you get it."
"All-wheel drive is a rational benefit for buying a Subaru. Now we want to establish the emotional side," said Mark Darling, Subaru's vice president of marketing. "Subaru is for people in the know, with an attitude, fully engaged in life. That's why, 'When you get it, you get it.' "
Temerlin McClain in Dallas, Subaru's advertising agency, created the campaign.
Subaru could use a boost. The automaker expects to increase annual sales by 2.7 percent, from 185,944 in 2001 to 191,000 this year. But sales slipped 2.3 percent for the first four months of this year, from 55,177 to 53,898. Subaru is counting on its Baja crossover pickup to turn things around when it is introduced in September.
The campaign also marks Subaru's first large use of national network TV. A commercial for the redesigned 2003 Forester and one for the refreshed Outback began airing June 2, on CBS' coverage of the 56th Annual Tony Awards. Other media, including magazines, will round out the campaign.
"This positions us as a bigger player without abandoning our niche strategy," Darling said.
Subaru had been a modest media buyer, focusing on cable and regional network TV. The company spent $126.5 million on all measured media last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Subaru plans to spend slightly more than that this year, Darling said.
The new spots show Subaru vehicles and owners in touch with their surroundings. Several of the spots ridicule large sport-utilities.
Subaru will continue to produce nameplate-specific advertising this year instead of highlighting the entire brand. Advertising for the WRX will come in August, and the Baja in September.