NEW YORK -- After focusing on reliability, relationships and "love," in its ads, Subaru of America is going back to the well with a creative theme broached a few years ago: a near-miss with death.
Subaru and agency Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis are working on a new ad called "They Lived," which revisits the normally taboo topic of death by car accident.
In the spot still under development, we follow a wrecked Subaru from the trooper handing it off to the wrecker and the wrecker to the junkyard. Each person who sees the mangled vehicle stares in horror until they're told the uplifting news: "They lived."
Finally, we see the family that survived the crash climbing into their new Subaru Outback (which is the same color as the wrecked car). "We lived, thanks to our Subaru," says the driver.
The spot closes with the brand's long-running tagline: "Love. It's what makes a Subaru, a Subaru."
Dean Evans, Subaru's chief marketing officer, showed a sneak preview at an Automotive News marketing conference in New York. He said it's generating some of the highest scores ever in research. The new TV spot will roll out this fall as part of "safety pillar" breaking in November and December, Evans said.
The commercial is based on true stories the company hears each year from owners saying their Subaru saved their lives, or that of a loved one, in a crash, said Subaru spokesman Michael McHale. And the vehicle featured is an actual wreck where the driver survived, he said.
The planned spot may be testing well. But the creative idea is not exactly original.