Subaru Advertising Over the Years

Subaru advertising over the years, the slogans, spokes people, tag lines, photos and images.

'Love', 'Its What Makes a Subaru, a Subaru'
Paul Hogan, Lance Armstrong, Martina Navritolova ...

An unofficial Subaru research site by Joe Spitz. This independent website is not authorized, sponsored, approved or supported by Subaru or any dealership.. 
This is not a complete history of all campaigns. Comments, tips, Subaru magazine ads wanted

on this page slogans and campaigns I ad companies I images

other Subaru ad image pages: page #1, #2, #3, #4, Video links: videos1.html
2008 Lots To Love Event playing cards I Lot To Love Events  I skunk   2011 and 2010 True Love Event (lollipop and chocolate heart), 2013 True Love Event, 2014 True Love Event, 2015 True Love Event Share the Love Event 2010, 2011, 2012  I Love Spring Event 2012 I Spring Love Event 2013
6th Share the Love Event (2013),
Seattle NW Flower and Garden Show, 2014

Paul Hogan ads for the Legacy Outback ran 1995-2002.
(1996 advertisement shown)

content, text, formatting © joe spitz. unauthorized reproduction strictly prohibited. Ads ©SoA. comments, tips welcomed contact. 
you are here  2.11.15     (4.8x3.7)

Homepage  I Subaru history  I Malcolm Bricklin  I Subaru Pictures   I Sitemap search the site

Various advertising news, slogans and campaigns over the years, gathered from many sources, including SoA press releases and etc.
Help wanted  Subaru ad history, images and tips welcomed.  Send scanned magazine ads etc (please keep image size reasonable 10x? for example)
All comments may be edited for length and content.


2/11/15 NW Flower and Garden Show, February 11-15, Seattle
Subaru sponsors the yearly NW Flower and Garden held at the downtown Seattle Convention Center. Its a major event, worth going to,  always with beautiful showplace gardens, and many plants, gardening tools, supplies,and yard-art to buy. This year Subaru had a Forester and Outback on display.
This year they had Subaru/Love heart shaped keychains. February 11-15, 2015.

Subaru is a sponsor of the 2015 NW Flower and Garden Show. This year they had Subaru/Love heart shaped keychains


Seattle NW Flower and Garden Show, February 5-9, 2014
Subaru magnetic "Peace, Love & Subaru" bumper sticker from the 2014 Seattle Flower and Garden Show
Subaru relives the 1960s and continues to push the Love advertising theme while channeling Peter Max on a magnetic bumper sticker, free when you show your Subaru key at the Subaru booth, 2014 Seattle Flower Show


November 21, 2013-January 2, 2014 6th Share the Love Event
Magnetic words to put on cars. See
2013 subaru Share The Love Event magnetic words

March 2013-  Love Spring Event
Stop by your local dealer to see the new 2014 Forester and pick up a free package of spring planting seeds- basil, tomato, bell pepper, cucumber and oregano, while supplies last

click for more 2013 spring love event photos


8/2012 Subaru Lot to love sale event- see images below

3/7/2012 Subaru sponsors webisodes of Happy Endings
"Broadcast networks have tried Webisodes tied to their prime-time series before. But there's something different about ABC’s new six-episode slate tied to its offbeat sitcom Happy Endings.  For starters, the Webisodes have high production quality, and they feature the show’s entire cast rather than just secondary players. The Webisodes’ content also features an original—not found on the cutting-room floor—plot, and there is no awkward, far-from-subtle product placement. That’s close to revolutionary for TV on the Web.
The first of the six Webisodes, dubbed Happy Endings: Happy Rides, debuted on Wednesday, Feb. 29, with a new episode planned for each of the subsequent five Wednesdays. Besides, Happy Endings: Happy Rides is being distributed on Hulu and YouTube. Subaru is sponsoring the episodes, with pre-roll ads and zero product integrations.
The plot of the Web content is focused on a series of flashbacks, as the main characters reflect on moments such as when they met and when several couples went on first dates. A handful of the Webisodes have been directed by cast members, including Adam Pally, Zachary Knighton and Casey Wilson.
ABC’s has experimented with Web series tied to its network hits before, including a recent Grey’s Anatomy offshoot as well as an upcoming show tied to the procedural Body of Proof. But Happy Endings: Happy Rides might represent a creative peak.
“These could easily be full episodes on the air,” said Karin Gilford, ABC’s svp of digital media. “The idea was that this wasn’t something derivative. The cast really felt like there was a story to be told and wanted to do a little bit extra. They were really into it.”
So was Suburu, which didn’t try to force its way into the Web shorts. The brand actually chose to sponsor Happy Endings based on its expected “emotional resonance to consumers and contextual relevance to the brand," according to Gilford.
ABC typically tries to find sponsors for its Web shows, though it's not necessary that a brand underwrite an online original. The key is a willing cast with the time and creative buy in from producers. “A lot of moving parts have to come together, and in this case they all did," said Gilford." the article

"Drive Thru, a full-service production and digital post production house, recently partnered with ad agency Carmichael Lynch and production company harvest to deliver four clever new Subaru spots that conceptualize outdoor activities dogs might enjoy if they owned a Subaru, in addition to a "behind-the-scenes" video directed by "Ziggy" the dog. All four spots, directed by the Hoffman Brothers, mark Drive Thru's third consecutive year contributing post production to Subaru's ongoing "Dog Tested. Dog Approved." campaign and aired during Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl VIII on Super Bowl Sunday.
"We've worked on the campaign every year since its inception, and are proud to be a part of such a successful, exceptional creative collaboration again," said Bob George, Owner of Drive Thru.
Beth Wilson, Executive Producer of Drive Thru, added, "When Carmichael approached us with the job, we were ecstatic, especially because we knew it would involve out-of-the-box creativity. It was really a joy to work with Carmichael, harvest and the Hoffman Brothers to create such a unique, alternate world where dogs engage in everyday human activities like sunbathing, skiing or playing the guitar."... Each spot follows venerable canines Kasey, Daisy, Paris, Penny and Stella as they travel by Subaru to embark on a variety of outdoor adventures. In "Camping," Stella attempts to serenade fellow canine friends on her guitar at the campfire, but her lack of talent evokes a wolf's howl -- sending all of the dogs into a huddle in the Subaru, locking the car door behind them. "Ski Trip" features canine action on the slopes, but in the end, Paris the poodle is left frozen in fear atop a black diamond slope as the canine crew heads home in the Subaru without her. After a day at the beach surfing, picnicking, sunbathing and more, the dogs drive away in their Subaru in "Beach." "Jackknife" exposes Kasey's poor driving skills to the pack as he tries to gently back the canoe into the lake, eventually crashing, even with direction from Daisy and Stella.
Mick Uzendoski, Creative Offline Editor of Drive Thru, shared, "Creating a real story and giving these dogs believable human movements that were consistent with looks from previous years proved to be a tremendous challenge, especially considering tight deadlines and environmental factors. We had to sift through thousands of shots to build a cohesive story that would really convey the dog's perspectives. Once we framed the stories, it was a matter of putting the final humanizing touches on the dogs and editing around the occasional cameraman or dog trainer in the shot."....
Agency: Carmichael Lynch, Executive Creative Director: Randy Hughes, Associate Creative Director: Ellie Anderson, Associate Creative Director: Michael Rogers, Group Creative Director: Brock Davis, Director of Integrated Services: Joe Grundhoefer, Senior Integrated Producer: Freddie Richards
Production Company: harvest, Directors: The Hoffman Brothers, Executive Producer: Bonnie Goldfarb, Executive Producer: Rob Sexton, Producer: Billy Jones
the entire article

1/29/ 2012 Share the Love 2011 results
For the 4th year, Subaru generously donated their maximum $1,000,000 to each of the 5 charities this year- ASPCA, American Forests, Make a Wish, Meals on Wheels, and Special Olympics.
The 2011 Share the Love program ran from 11/19/11 -1/3/12. In December alone 33,701 people bought Subarus and at $250 donated per car, that would be $8,425,25 but the donation is a generous $5m total.  The total for the Share the Love over 4 years is now $20,000,000!  Thanks Subaru.  Click for 2011 Share the Love images


11/19 Share the Love v 4.0 starts today November 19 and runs through January 3, 2012.
click for many more images
Buy a new Subaru and Subaru donates $250 to your choice from the following worthy causes.
Choices for 2011 are American Forests, ASPCA, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Meals On Wheels, Special Olympics
In the 3 previous years Subaru generously donated $1m to each charity. More information and images

7/29 advertising- New Chief Marketing Officer.  Dean Evans is the new CMO starting September, 2011,  replacing the former Director of Marketing Communications Kevin Mayer who left October 2010 to be Director of Chevrolet Advertising and Sales Promotion. Subaru also lost Exec VP and CMO Tim Mahoney who left Subaru for VW in April.
Dean Evans brings to Subaru a strong automotive background including dealer management and a lot of website and lead generation experience. Of course, much of the today's advertising is focused online but creative advertising takes many forms, and traditional venues such as magazines, TV, newspapers, placement, sponsorships etc, still reach active buyers.
Most recently he was Chief Marketing Officer for 2006-11. Prior to that he was Cobalt VP Field Mktg 2006-7, Dealix VP Mtkg 2003-6, Jaguar Land Aston Martin NA CRM mgr 2002-3, Ford CRM director 2001-2, exec dir development/sales 2000-1, Nextag discount website auto dept mgr 1998-9, Les Vogel Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge, Burlingame Ca (bought by Lithia 2002) Gen Mgr 1996-8, and Chrysler corporation 1991-6. He was a car broker at HM Brown & Assoc Colorado 1990-1.

7/22 advertising. Emmy Awards-  Subaru's Baby Driver ad by Carmichael Lynch and RSA Films is nominated for Outstanding Commercial.  The Emmy's will be on the Fox network Sunday, September 18, 8pm, hosted by Glee's Jane Lynch.
 A link for all the Emmy nominees.

> If you haven't seen the Baby Driver ad, it's all about Daddy's little girl driving a car.
The story of the ad... "You need awards to stay relevant, attract talent and attention," related Randy Hughes, executive creative director at Carmichael Lynch. "The Emmy, though, has a little something extra special--even your mom knows what an Emmy Award is."
     Hughes worked on the Emmy-nominated Subaru spot "Baby Driver" as executive creative director/art director, teaming with Carmichael Lynch chief creative officer/writer Jim Nelson. Hughes said he's honored to have "Baby Driver" included in such a creatively rich, high-profile field of Emmy nominees.
     "Baby Driver" tugs at the heartstrings as we see a father giving his toddler girl instructions on how to drive--she's sitting behind the steering wheel and isn't tall enough to look out the windshield. The camera cuts away to him outside the car and then back to the girl--who's now a teenager--in the driver's seat. Clearly we've been seeing this teen as her father still sees her--as his little girl. As she backs the car out of the driveway, the dad's voiceover informs us that he knew this day would come--that's why he bought a Subaru.
     "We had the idea of a teenager taking her maiden voyage in a car and thought about how we can make a parent talking to a teenage daughter more compelling," recollected Hughes. "That's when we came up with the universal truth of parents always seeing their kids as younger."
     While the idea fell into place nicely, the execution didn't initially. "Trying to cast the family--a dad, his teenage daughter and her younger sister--was challenging," said Hughes. "You need to find actors with a family resemblance of some sort and we weren't coming up with what we needed. A talent agency on a whim suggested a real dad and his two daughters who lived around where we were shooting [in Southern California]. They all looked right, fit the specs but weren't professional actors."
     Thankfully, continued Hughes, director Scott is adept at working with talent--both professionals and real people. "Jake was great. He got them together and threw the script away, asking the father what he would tell his daughter before sending her off on her first drive. The father spoke from the heart, the daughters were natural. We had it in five or six takes, probably the shortest shoot on record. The performances were simple and strong." the article

7/21 advertising- running through mud in Philadelphia for a good cause, sponsored by Subaru
'More than 5,500 competitors ran, crawled, climbed, and slithered their way through... the (Philadelphia) Merrell Down and Dirty Mud Run.
They navigated an obstacle course - 5 or 10 kilometers for the adults, a mile or 100 yards for kids - that ended with a 20-yard, military style crawl through a mucky mix of sifted topsoil and 12,000 gallons of water.
The event was part competition, part fun, with proceeds going to Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit that sends care packages to the nation's servicemen and servicewomen..
..The Down and Dirty Mud Run was one in a series of races in nine cities this summer. So far, Philadelphia's has attracted the biggest crowd, said Michael Epstein, executive producer of the event for the Merrill footwear company.
A curious fact about the mud run series: 65 percent of the competitors are women. "We're trying to figure that out," Epstein said. "We've struck a nerve. It's a unique way for women to get together and challenge themselves." read the article
> Coming mud events sponsored by Subaru-  Richmond Va  August 21;  New York October 2; Atlanta October 16; Sacramento Night Mud Run October 29, day run October 30  2011
No dogs allowed, yes there's a shower at the end, entry fees are $50-75 (late fees vary by location) with active military or public safety discounts includes the BBQ, tshirt etc. Check out the website, registration, FAQs

7/20 advertising - more on Ludo Bites America.  Ludo Bites America is the entertaining new Subaru sponsored fryer sitcom that debuted last night, Tuesday, July 19. Its about tempermental french chef Ludo and his American wife as they travel the US in a silver Subaru Outback Limited.  Its hard to see the Subaru connection, the Outback certainly isn't an important part of the show, but then neither is food or cooking, its more about Ludo et femme as they open one night stand restaurants in quintissential American cities like Santa Fe, Omaha and Mobile. In the Santa Fe opener, we get glimpses of Ludo: rolling torillas, tasting hot chilies for the first time, buying cowboy boots, eating a juicy hamburger, stomping a recalcitrant digital scale into submission, and finally putting together the aforementioned one night menu for about 125 paying customers at $37ea in a whirlwind of screaming kitchen drama.
Given Ludo Bite's strong reputation in LA, its assumed he can cook, and the menu looks tasty... One restaurant patron commented that the steak was the best he had ever eaten -  it was a hanger steak marinated in red chiles. But there are no recipes,  ingredients, methods or processes in the show. This is a straight fryer sitcom about the personalities and drama of pulling off a Ludo Bite's event. And it is an happening event.
Yes, the menus and recipes and more are on Sundance's website.
Next up is Omaha. Thats prime beef country and we'll see Ludo serve a dry aged ribeye with potato pear gratin.
On a more Subaru pertinent note, the Outback had navigation but they didn't use it to find a restaurant. I couldn't tell if the Outback was a 2.5L or 3.6R model...
Ludo Bites Santa Fe is on every night this week, and epsiode #2, Omaha, starts next Tuesday 9pm, and yes I'll watch. I want to know if its a 2.5L or 3.6R...
Ludo Links- the summary of the episodes, the schedule, the recipes, LudoBite's website. read an interview with Ludo.

7/18 advertising - Subaru sponsors new cooking show  'Ludo Bites America' on the Sundance Channel (founded by Robert Redford).
Its a dramatic cooking show about LudoBites, the popular LA/Southern California pop-up restaurant. In the new TV series, French born chef  Ludovic Ludo Lefebvre and attorney wife Kristine Krissy Lefebvre travel the US in a Subaru Outback doing their quick 'pop-up' guest turns behind the stove in various restaurants. Drama and good food presumably ensues, along with some Subaru connection.
Known for his innovative, quirky cuisine, Ludo has been successfully doing this since 2007 in the LA area as LudoBites, a pop-up restaurant that travels from kitchen to kitchen, that 'pops-up' here and there with no fixed address or phone number.
Now he's on TV with a corporate sponsor, and it will be interesting to see how they mix in a little special Subie Spice.  "...In order to communicate Subaru’s “Greater Good” social responsibility initiative, the vignettes focus on green and community building trends. Topics include Pickling, Food Trucks, Molecular Gastronomy, and Grocery Store Restaurants.."
Hmmm.. sounds tasty... wonder if they'll be in Seattle.
The first 3 episodes are Santa Fe, Omaha, and Mobile. It debuts Tuesday, July 19th on the Sundance cable channel.
Ludo Links- the summary of the episodes, the schedule, LudoBite's website, read an interview with Ludo.

> "Sundance Channel, which doesn't take traditional advertising and continues to pursue product placement dollars, has a deal with Subaru, in which one of its vehicles will have an integral role in a new reality series.
The show, which seems to tap into the food-truck craze in major cities, has two restaurateurs cruising in an Outback crossover vehicle and setting up culinary stands for a night only....  In June, Sundance hired Michael Lehrer as vice president, strategic marketing to work on attracting sponsorship dollars. He held a similar role at MTV... " the article
> "Sundance Channel has teamed up with Subaru on an exclusive product integration and branded entertainment campaign tied to the network’s upcoming culinary-themed series, “Ludo Bites America.” In this series, rulebreaking restaurateurs, Ludo and Krissy Lefebvre, hit the road in their Subaru Outback to open their pop-up eatery for one-night culinary stands in cities across America.  The campaign also includes exclusive content consisting of five vignettes tied to themes consistent with the qualities and values of the Subaru brand including, adventure, passion, discovery and social responsibility.
Each episode of the show is accompanied by a Sundance Channel produced vignette highlighting Subaru’s distinct and compelling brand features.  In order to communicate Subaru’s “Greater Good” social responsibility initiative, the vignettes focus on green and community building trends. Topics include Pickling, Food Trucks, Molecular Gastronomy, and Grocery Store Restaurants.  Alan Bethke, Director of Marketing, Subaru, explains, “The Sundance Channel campaign as a whole captures the way Subaru owners act and feel and what they care about— to them, travel is about more than the destination; it’s about the journey, the adventure, and the discoveries along the way.”
“In ‘Ludo Bites America,’ Ludo escapes the prototypical restaurant world and answers only to his own passion.  Both Sundance Channel and Ludo complement Subaru and speak to the lifestyle and spirit of Subaru consumers as well as to the distinctive voice of their brand,” said Vanessa Benfield, senior vice president of Partnership Sales & Integrated Solutions, IFC and Sundance Channel.  She continued, “We were able to create exclusive customized content that enhances Subaru’s overall media mix and delivers Sundance Channel’s upscale influential audience.”  the article

7/11- advertising. Subaru sponsors the Lavender festival in Sequim, Wa July 15-17
"The Sequim Lavender Festival® celebrates its 15th year in the heart of Sequim and in the surrounding Dungeness Valley, during the July 15-17 weekend.  Solely produced and managed by the member-growers of the Sequim Lavender Growers Association™, the Lavender Festival will expand its production to include activities and regional attractions for the modern family and multi-aged visitors.
The growers most responsible for the success and heritage of the festival will be showcased and made available all weekend through a self-guided and free "U-Tour" attraction.  With a map in hand, visitors may leisurely drive at their own pace and visit the smallest and largest lavender farms located in the Lavender Capital of North America®.  Lavender themed gifts and fresh cut bouquets will be available for purchase..." the website

6/19 advertising- the car buying cycle and marketing to car buyers
"The BMA (Business Mkt. Assoc.)  Philadelphia recently had a panel discussion focused on marketing through distribution channels...
One of the panelists was Brandon Baldassari – Product Marketing Specialist at Subaru of America.  He was talking about their marketing messaging depending on where the customer was in the buying cycle and he said they think of the buyer’s cycle in three stages – The Heart, The Brain and The Wallet (It sounds a bit like a C.S. Lewis novel).
When a customer is far out in the buying cycle, perhaps thinking maybe they want a new car but have not settled on a manufacturer, they shoot for the heart.  I’m sure we can all recall a favorite Subaru ad that spoke to us…at least those to whom their message reached our hearts.  My favorite is their Baby Driver ad… and I don’t even have kids!
The next step is when a customer settles on Subaru, and are deciding on what model car.  This is where their marketing targets their brain.  You’re active and care about the environment…but are you driving you family to and from soccer games or are you going with friends into the wilderness to go mountain biking.  Are you concerned about mileage?  what about safety?  What is the warranty on the car and what will the value be five years form now?  Will this car still be running 10 years from now?
The final stage is the wallet.  This is where the marketing starts focusing on the dealership.  At this point buyers have made their decision…now they are looking for the best deal.
This multi-level buying cycle is not unique to Subaru or car dealers. ..." read the whole article

4/27 advertising.. Tim Mahoney ends up at VW.  As noted on April 21 (see below), Subaru's Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney left the company. He had been a Subaru guy since 1984, except for a stint at Porsche, and was involved with or responsible for a lot of  the fun, interesting, innovative, and effective advertising that has brought attention and sales to the brand. This is an interesting time for a major personnel change with the new Imprezas coming.
The two US companies are similar - in 2010, VW sold 256,830, Subaru sold 263,820. VW, like Subaru, is looking for growth and like Subaru, also has new cars coming to market, including station wagons (Subaru's old Legacy market) and diesels (Subaru doesn't offer their diesel in the US).  VW has even offered '4Motion' AWD cars in past but they don't currently. As a footnote, the first automotive use of the horizontally opposed boxer engine that Subaru uses was the air-cooled engine in VWs from 1936 on.
"Volkswagen of America has appointed Timothy Mahoney as the new chief product and marketing officer for the Volkswagen brand. Mahoney will directly report to Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America and president of the Volkswagen America brand.
In his new role, Mahoney will be responsible for aligning the strategic direction of the brand's product planning and promotional efforts in the US. He comes to Volkswagen from Subaru of America where he served as the senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the past five years. ." the article

4/26 advertising- The 3D film shown at the NY Auto show April 20th when they introduced the new 2012 Impreza was created by Digital Cut of Irvine, Ca . 'Hired by Subaru's event production vendor, Studio Creative (a division of EWI Worldwide), Digital Cut was responsible for producing a six-minute "countdown experience" and a 90-second opening video for the event..
"The biggest challenge we faced was that Subaru didn't have any stereoscopic content," said Digital Cut's President, Brandon Key, "and the budget didn't support an entire running footage shoot in 3D, but they wanted a complete 3D experience." Digital Cut's solution was to use existing 2D footage in a computer generated 3D environment that gave the feeling of a complete 3D world. "The end result works quite well, and gives the viewer a feeling of a completely immersive 3D experience," said Key.
Subaru's use of stereoscopic 3D at an automotive press event is a first, according to Key. "There have been several manufacturers that have had 3D in their public booths over the years, but this is the first time I'm aware of it being done at an event geared to the press." read the press release

4/21 advertising- big change at the top  Tim Mahoney, successful Chief Marketing Officer of Subaru is leaving Subaru for an unnamed automaker. No reason was given.
This is a big change and happens just as Subaru starts the long 4-5 month climb to the all important 2012 Impreza release. Mahoney originally joined Subaru in 1984 from SaraLee, and was part of the team (with ad agency Carmichael Lynch) that revitalized and jerked life back into Subaru in the mid-1990s with those great Outback story-teller ads starring Australian actor Paul Hogan. The Paul Hogan ads showed the Outback as the 4 cylinder anti-SUV that could, and often did, go anywhere, and brought a new awareness of Subaru's all wheel drive which became standard on all 1997 models.
in 1999, Mahoney, by then Director of Marketing, left Subaru for Porsche NA. He returned to Subaru in 2007 and under his leadership, Subaru's advertising has again found new traction with the addition of 'Love' to the 'Its What Makes a Subaru' line, and other innovative, entertaining, and outside the box campaigns. Remember 2009's Skunk detergent, or 2010's Mediocrity sedan?
Recognizing the success of the Subaru-love-emotion comapigns,  in September 2010, Mahoney was chosen as 2010 Marketer of the Year, and just last month (March 2011), Subaru's advertising was recongized with the Silver Award at the 2011 Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) David Ogilvy Awards for Excellence in Advertising.
see 10/15/2010 below for more advertising personnel changes
> 10/4/2010 General Motors announced that Kevin Mayer, the former Director of Marketing Communications at Subaru of America, will be the new Director of Chevrolet Advertising and Sales Promotion effective Oct. 4, 2010. He joins the brand from Subaru of America where he had been director, marketing communications under Tim Mahoney. Mayer joined Subaru in 2007. Prior to that, he served as senior vp and account director at Colby and Partners, where he led the American Suzuk account.  Prior to his time at Colby and Partners, he served as director of advertising and marketing for Mitsubishi Motors of America.  He began his automotive career in 1997 at Hyundai Motor America, where he held a variety of corporate strategy, marketing, promotions and advertising positions.
> 9/23/2010  Subaru today announced the appointment of Alan Bethke to director of marketing communications to replace Kevin Mayer.  Reporting to Tim Mahoney, chief marketing officer for Subaru of America, Bethke will be responsible for the company's advertising and marketing communications activities. Bethke joined Subaru from Suzuki in 2003 as a district sales manager.  He was Subaru district sales manager for Florida (9/03-3/05) and Wa DC (3/05-6/06), in the advertising dept 6/06-5/08), national advertising mgr (5/08-2/10), and Marketing operations and planning manager (2/10-9/10).

3/31/11  advertising accolades - the Subaru love ad campign wins awards and gets more love than ever
Subaru of America was honored with the Silver Award at the 2011 Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) David Ogilvy Awards for Excellence in Advertising. The awards, named after advertising legend David Ogilvy, are given to companies that produce research-driven, successful ad campaigns. Subaru won for the "Subaru Love Campaign," which celebrates the legendary love that is felt by so many Subaru drivers about their vehicles.
"We're honored to be recognized with the David Ogilvy Award," said Tim Mahoney, chief marketing officer, Subaru of America, Inc. "Our partners at Carmichael Lynch and Harris Interactive were instrumental in this achievement."
The campaign, which led to the tagline "Love.  It's What Makes a Subaru a Subaru," was informed by in-depth research and supported by continuous evaluation that provided insight for future strategies.
The ARF David Ogilvy Awards honor extraordinary and/or creative uses of research in the advertising development processes of research firms, advertising agencies and advertisers. The winning campaigns provide a keen understanding of how research can be used to create powerful, profitable campaigns."
read the press release
Randy Hughes at Carmichael Lynch is the originator of the agency's Love campaign for Subaru.

3/26/11 Randy Hughes has been with Carmichael Lynch for 10 years and is the originator of the agency's Love campaign for Subaru, an account he will continue leading.
February 14, 2011 - the 2nd Subaru 'True Love Event' help celebrate Valentine's day and tie Subaru in with positive emotions..
Includes posters, balloons, and window hang tags etc, plus red lollipops. In 2009 Subaru gave away chocolate hearts,  2011 and 2010 True Love Event
March 1-31 The 3rd Subaru Love Spring Event includes posters, window Spring Love Event hang tags and a Farmer's Almanac 'compliments of Subaru' (see image below)
2/8/2011: The 3rd Share the Love event results announced
Predictably and generously Subaru has again donated $5,000,000 to the 5 charities. This time, for the 3rd Share the Love Event (November 20, 2010- January 3 2011) the charities customers had to select from for Subaru to donate $250 to, included Ocean Conservancy, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ASPCA, Habitat for Humanity, Meals On Wheels. No, not tax deductible, you didn't pay. This is the 3rd year for the event. According to ASPCA, they were the top choice of customers, receiving more than $1.6m.


11/20/10 - 1/3/11 Subaru's 3rd Share the Love   Get a great car, then choose the charity and Subaru donates $250. Choices for 2010 are Ocean Conservancy, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ASPCA, Habitat for Humanity, Meals On Wheels. No, not tax deductible, you didn't pay. This is the 3rd year for the event. In the 2 previous years Subaru generously donated $1m to each charity.
11/5 New advertising slogan- Confidence in Motion
Subaru slogan- confidence in motion
Subaru has a new slogan
'FHI Establishes New Brand Statement  “Confidence in Motion”- To Showcase a Concept Car Embodying the Brand Statement at the LA Auto Show -
Tokyo, November 2, 2010 - Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the maker of Subaru automobiles, announced today the establishment of a new global brand statement, “Confidence in Motion”, as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance the Subaru brand.
“Confidence” reflects Subaru’s attitude toward engineering excellence and the trust generated among drivers by following through on its commitment to provide both enjoyment and peace of mind. “in Motion” expresses Subaru’s resolve to continue innovating to meet customer expectations in a world of constant change.Subaru will proactively address global environmental issues and the demands of ever-maturing automobile use. Subaru believes automobiles should be more than just a means of simple transportations. They should also be a source of enjoyment, and enjoyment rests on a foundation of peace of mind. These two inseparable values are central to the Subaru experience. As customer expectations are diversifying, Subaru will foresee these needs with independent thinking and continue to offer enjoyment and peace of mind without losing sight of the essence of what an automobile should be.
“Confidence in Motion” expresses Subaru’s aim to continue evolving in order to offer even more customers new ways to enrich their lives through a uniquely satisfying Subaru experience.
From now on, “Confidence in Motion” will be at the center of all Subaru activities. As the first step, FHI will exhibit a concept car embodying the new brand statement at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, USA (press days on November 17 and 18 (2010) open to the public from November 19 to 28). A press briefing with FHI President & CEO Ikuo Mori is scheduled for Wednesday, November 17 at 12:20 (PST) at the Subaru booth.

10/15 advertising personnel changes
> 10/4/2010 General Motors announced that Kevin Mayer, the former Director of Marketing Communications at Subaru of America, will be the new Director of Chevrolet Advertising and Sales Promotion effective Oct. 4, 2010. He joins the brand from Subaru of America where he had been director, marketing communications under Tim Mahoney. Mayer joined Subaru in 2007. Before that he was senior vp and account director at Colby and Partners, where he led the American Suzuki account.  Prior to his time at Colby and Partners, he served as director of advertising and marketing for Mitsubishi Motors of America.  He began his automotive career in 1997 at Hyundai Motor America, where he held a variety of corporate strategy, marketing, promotions and advertising positions.
> from 9/23/2010 below-   Subaru today announced the appointment of Alan Bethke to director of marketing communications to replace Kevin Mayer.  Reporting to Tim Mahoney, chief marketing officer for Subaru of America, Bethke will be responsible for the company's advertising and marketing communications activities. Bethke joined Subaru from Suzuki in 2003 as a district sales manager.  He was Subaru district sales manager for Florida (9/03-3/05) and Wa DC (3/05-6/06), in the advertising dept 6/06-5/08), national advertising mgr (5/08-2/10), and Marketing operations and planning manager (2/10-9/10).

10/1/10 Want a plain old boring sedan? Subaru thinks outside the advertising box again - remember the Skunk -  and introduces a faux sedan, the 2011 'Mediocrity',  a pastiche of generic sedans on the market.
I wonder what group of snoozemobiles Subaru advertising and web folks threw into the bubbling cauldron they drank from before conjuring up this latest idea.
Mission Statement ".. to manufacture the most mainstream mid-size sedan on the road today... We strive for predictability, unoriginality, and no-frills utilitarianism... The 2011 Mediocrity will get you from A to B without anyone ever noticing..."
Specs:  2.2L 4 cylinder, 142hp at 5000rpm; Electrical ignition with spark plugs; leaf spring rear suspension, basic  flexibody construction; 4 drum brakes, AEV average emission vehicle...
Dimensions: height: medium; wheelbase: adequate;  ground clearance: clears small rocks
Colors: Medium Crumb or Stale Biscuit, with Brown Gravel or Chimney Soot interiors. (Hey, wait a minute! don't I recognize Biscuit from the 03?)
Options and extras include a cushioned seat, 1 floor mat, 1 hubcap, an odometer, windshield, wicker chair...
Serious about a snoozemobile? Subaru wants to Hey wake you up with a strong dose of  Legacy reality, encouraging viewers to click a link for 'something better'- a 2011 Legacy of course
 Check out the 2011 Mediocrity at, but don't try to buy one.. The Legacy is the recommended cure for the common sedan
Subaru advertising creates the 2011 faux sedan, 'Mediocrity'

9/23 Alan Bethke is new director of marketing communications.
Subaru today announced the appointment of Alan Bethke to director of marketing communications to replace Kevin Mayer.  Reporting to Tim Mahoney, chief marketing officer for Subaru of America, Bethke will be responsible for the company's advertising and marketing communications activities. Bethke joined Subaru from Suzuki in 2003 as a district sales manager.  He was Subaru district sales manager for Florida (9/03-3/05) and Wa DC (3/05-6/06), in the advertising dept 6/06-5/08), national advertising mgr (5/08-2/10), and Marketing operations and planning manager (2/10-9/10).

Bethke replaces Kevin Mayer who left earlier this month. Mayer joined Subaru in 2007. Before that he was senior vp and account director at Colby and Partners, where he led the American Suzuki account.  Prior to his time at Colby and Partners, he served as director of advertising and marketing for Mitsubishi Motors of America.  He began his automotive career in 1997 at Hyundai Motor America, where he held a variety of corporate strategy, marketing, promotions and advertising positions.

9/17  2010 Marketer Of The Year - Tim Mahoney, Subaru
'When Tim Mahoney returned to Subaru in 2006 to become chief marketing officer following a nine-year stint at Porsche of America, he hardly recognized the place he had left in 1997. The company had served up five separate ad slogans and strategies in six years from two different ad agencies, and had five radically different print ad layouts in the previous year.
No wonder the company was languishing at around 180,000 sales a year, while brands like Honda, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia were climbing. Even Subaru loyalists had lost the plot.
I guess I am old school," says Mahoney. "But I subscribe to [Al Ries and Jack Trout's 1993 book] The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, which says marketing effects take place over an extended period of time." Change the strategy every year, he says, and nothing good has a chance to stick.
After settling in to the job for a year, Mahoney fired DDB and assigned the $150 million-plus account to Carmichael Lynch, an old Porsche contact. Mahoney says he liked the chemistry he had with the Minneapolis agency. And a review of shops to pick a new agency seemed unnecessary because he knew exactly where he wanted to go with the brand.
Carmichael Lynch CEO Mike Lescarbeu says Mahoney told the agency it had to keep the slogan, "It's what makes a Subaru a Subaru," created by DDB, and go with one print layout essentially already picked by Mahoney. "As an agency, we felt like we had both hands tied behind our back," says Lescarbeu. "But actually that was very smart because it forced us to focus on a real message strategy and tone, and not on the process of coming up with the perfect line."
Carmichael modified the line by one word. Since 2007, it's been "Love. It's what makes a Subaru a Subaru." It signaled a shift from a largely rational message scheme touting all-wheel-drive, safety technology and "Boxer" engines to one that talked about those things in an emotional way. "The big insight for us was pretty simple," says Mahoney. "Subaru owners love, really love, their cars, and we thought it better to have deeply committed zealots star in our marketing rather than celebrities."
That was a change. Subaru had gone through a series of celebrity pitchers along with its revolving ad slogans including Paul Hogan when Subaru launched the Outback in the 1990s, actor Judge Reinhold, tennis great Martina Navratilova and cycling superstar Lance Armstrong.
The payoff came from sticking with what has become a familiar message, now in its fourth year. Subaru has used it to launch new versions of its bread-and-butter vehicles—the Legacy, Outback and Forester—and the brand's market share has risen from 1 percent to 2 percent, while sales reached an all-time high of 218,000 in 2009, an increase of 15 percent in a year when the industry was down 22 percent. Subaru sales were up another 30 percent year to date through July versus 14 percent for the industry. All that recent growth has vaulted Subaru passed Volkswagen, Mazda, BMW and Lexus in sales.
The "Love" idea gets communicated in different ways but stays connected to Subaru's equity as a four-wheeled snowshoe of a car in rugged weather and dirt roads. In a series of ads themed "Dear Subaru," vignettes are created from letters written by owners emotionally telling their real-life tales of how Subaru saved their lives or lives of their loved ones. One TV spot this year shows a man visiting his smashed up Subaru, which saved his life, in the junk yard. Then he drives away in his new Subaru.
In some ways, it looks like Subaru is filling the space of emotional safety positioning once owned by Volvo. One new TV ad appears to show a fortysomething father giving the keys to the Subaru to his 5-year-old daughter to drive. The payoff is that she is really college age and he still sees her as a child. The only car he would entrust her to is a Subaru. Mahoney likes to pair these emotional brand scenes with some of the third-party endorsements that keep coming Subaru's way: top safety picks by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety for all of its cars, and MotorTrend Truck of the Year for Outback.
Unlike a lot of companies, Subaru is not investing big in social media or executing flashy online campaigns designed to get noticed by throngs. A trip to Subaru's Facebook page, which has just 17,000-plus followers (compared with 105,000 for the smaller Lexus which also has an older buyer profile), says a lot about Subaru's universe. There are posts about the Subaru Forester being the official vehicle of the Aflac Iron Girl Triathlon and its AAA award for being top brand among pet owners.
Subaru is not a Super Bowl brand by any means. Instead of buying time on the big game, Mahoney sponsored Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl, which shows a Yule log-like scene of puppies frolicking in a pen. Seven ads were created, each showing dogs in the Subarus behaving as people. Why? "Fifty percent of our owners are dog owners, and they love them like part of the family," Mahoney says.
"Subaru has been practicing what I call the 'Remember Who You Are' marketing strategy, and few marketers in any category do it better," says Los Angeles-based independent marketing consultant Dennis Keene. "Dish up one set of attractive, engaging, sensible set of values and messages consistently to the public over a long enough period, and they will trust your brand and keep coming back."
And not just existing owners. Mahoney's strategy is working on conquesting other brands, which is the only way to grow within a declining auto market. Sixty percent of Subaru sales this year come from stealing drivers from other brands. Mahoney notes that the recent designs of the Legacy, Outback and Forester were spot on for the American market. The new Forester design, launched in 2007 with a much more stylish profile, began attracting more approval from men. The new Legacy sedan and Outback SUV are taller and larger than previous models. And, he says, those models are benefitting from baby boomers and Gen Xers downsizing from truckish SUVs.
But Mahoney is not counting on those cars to sell themselves. When economic calamity hit the U.S. in 2008 and 2009, lots of advertisers reduced ad spending to lower costs. Not Mahoney. He not only jacked up his spending, but he also got more placements because media prices dropped. "I'd say that was our most important decision," he says. Subaru may be seen as the safe choice by many, but Mahoney has some gamble in him' the article

August 3-31, 2010 - The 2010 Subaru 'Lot To Love' Event runs August 3-31 with banners, window stickers, balloons etc. Various taglines include things like ' 95% of all Subarus built in the last 10 years are still on the road', '2010 IIHS top safety picks for all models',  'highest predicted resale value in the industry', 'Subaru was the first automotive plant in the US to achieve zero landfill status'....
Subaru Lot to Love event, August 2010
 see more photos below

6/15/10 Subaru advertising overview from
'Winter Storm Slams Into Washington. Travel Advisory For The Entire Mid Atlantic. Historic Storm Hits Atlantic Coast.'
Subaru of America loves headlines like that. Every time a big storm brings traffic to a standstill, the Subaru brand shines.
You seldom see an all-wheel-drive Outback wagon or a Forrester stuck in a snowbank. And you won’t see the company taking government bailout money. While the big three automakers were buried in losses, Subaru was cruising right along. Overall, U.S. sales were up 15% in 2009. In July, they posted a record sales month, up 34% from the previous year. In 2008, despite the lowest incentives in the industry, Subaru gained market share.
Not bad for a niche brand with a limited vehicle line up and a miniscule media presence. Subaru’s entire advertising budget is less than what some automakers spend on a single vehicle.
Which brings me back to those dreaded winter storm warnings and an ad I recently spotted in Ski Magazine:
“Snowstorm Advisory. More of a calling than a warning.” Subaru. No photo of the car. Just a dramatic, black and white photo of a lonely road in a blizzard. It’s taken in the first-person perspective, as if I’m sitting in the front seat. That ad doesn’t just speak to me. It sings. Hats off to the creative team at Carmichael Lynch. And a round of applause for the client at Subaru who actually stood up against the industry convention and agreed to leave the car out altogether.
It takes guts to run a full page ad in a national magazine without showing the product. And I’m sure the dealers gripe about it, and say “it’s just a branding ad.”
But it works. It speaks volumes about the brand, and it touches a highly relevant emotional chord with anyone who has ever driven through a blizzard to be first on the chairlift.....
... To me, the message is loud and clear… crummy, snowy roads can’t stop me from doing what I love.
In this ad, it’s benefits over features, all the way to the bank. Karl Greenberg, editor of Mediapost said, “Subaru has the kind of brand equity and staunch loyalty you usually find in luxury marques, which means they can keep their message on product and brand, not on deals or features.”
Rather than running a headline that touts the features of a Subaru (ie the “symmetrical all-wheel-drive system) the ski magazine ad conveys the benefits of that system:
It sells the idea of all wheel drive. While everyone else is stuck at home, Subaru owners are out enjoying life. Having fun. Missing nothing. It’s a message of empowerment wrapped in a warm, wintery blanket. That’s what long term brand advertising is all about… connecting with specific groups of people in a relevant, emotional manner, time after time, after time. Until people start feeing like part of club.
Clearly the top executives at Subaru get it. They know their market. They’re clear on company values. And they’ve designed products that align perfectly with the brand, the message and the medium. You couldn’t place that Subaru ad in The New Yorker or Parade Magazine, even during a snow storm. It would be out of context and off target. And when you see it in context of ski magazine, it doesn’t come across as hype. It’s as authentic as they come. But no brand is perfect, and Subaru has had its share of flops. For instance, they ran full page ads featuring the Motor Trend Car Of The Year trophy.
Unfortunately, Subaru drivers don’t care about automotive awards. In fact, they buy Forresters almost because of the derogatory comments from industry insiders. Subaru once tried to build a sports car. The SVX was a classic branding faux paus… In the mind of the consumer, Subaru means only one thing: Functionality. No amount of advertising could change that. So it wasn’t a sports car, and it didn’t look like a Subaru. What the hell was it? It didn’t’ stand a chance.
Subaru CEO Ikuo Mori recently admitted that the “up market migration” with the B9 Tribeca hasn’t worked.
Too big and too flashy for that family of cars. Jim Treece from Automotive news said, “There is nothing especially wrong with the B9 Tribeca, except that it has utterly nothing to do with Subaru’s brand.”
Despite its occasional slip-ups, Subaru enjoys tremendously high brand loyalty. Rally enthusiasts swear by them and people sell their neighbors on Subaru based on their own brand stories. And the common theme: The cars are relentlessly practical. Especially in a snow '  read the article, from February 2010

2/27/2010:  March 1-31 Subaru Love Spring Event. Nothing particular, just a reason for some nifty banners and graphics and of course Subaru's favorite new words-  love and event. Tagline was 'Great Deals on all models through March 31'
Spring Love Event March 1-31, 2010

2/1210 advertising, 2009 Share The Love results . For the 2nd year in a row, Subaru contributed $250 per car sold from 11/21/09-1/4/10 to the buyer's choice of charities.  Proving how much Subaru people like animals, the breakdown is ASPCA $1,339,860.66,  Meals On Wheels $1,355,376.46, Habitat for Humanity $1,094,917.66, National Wildlife Federation $712,027.86, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America $717,817.36.
1/25- 2/14/2010. Subaru True Love Event.  a campaign designed to run late January through Valentine's Day 2010. Includes mirror hangers, door signs and banners, newspaper ad templates, radio spots etc. Dealers can purchase and give away a box with a heart shaped chocolate, and a flip open lid where you can put a business card. 
Subaru True Love event Jan-Feb 2010. Includes a dealer give-away heart shaped chocolate

1/4/2010 advertising review - what's love got to do with it?
'It is just one of a spate of campaigns focused on love, a sentiment enthralling Madison Avenue in spite of - or perhaps as an antidote to - a downturn and two wars. Love is selling cars (“Love. It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru), LensCrafters eyeglasses (“See what you love, love what you see.”) and Payless shoes (“I [heart] shoes.”), not to mention long-running campaigns for McDonald’s (“I’m lovin’ it.”) and Olay (“Love the skin you’re in.”).
How the word for the most profound of human emotions came to be so popular for peddling consumer goods has less to do with linguistics than psychology.
“There are left-brain and right-brain approaches to advertising,” said Linda Kaplan Thaler, chief executive of the Kaplan Thaler Group, part of the Publicis Groupe. “For a long time, there was a left-brain approach” that highlighted “rational reasons and good selling points, but in the last several years studies have shown that emotional attachments really are a crucial factor in purchasing decisions.”...
'... In an ad for Subaru — by Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, part of the Interpublic Group — a man drives his Forrester for two days to “Subaru Heaven,” a junkyard where Subarus are left for parts.
“You don’t just let some wrecker haul off your 300,000-mile Forrester to who knows where,” says the driver. “You give that car a chance to live on — one part at a time.”
The commercial is based on a letter sent by a customer, said Kevin Mayer, director of marketing communication at Subaru, which introduced the “It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru” campaign in 2007.
“We think of our customers as experience seekers, and the response they fed back to us over and over is the love they had for the brand and how the product enables their lifestyles,” Mr. Mayer said, adding that many Subaru owners are skiers or kayakers traveling unpredictable roads, and they choose four-wheel-drive vehicles...' the full article


12/2009 Subaru starts promoting the tagline "To enable you to live a bigger, richer life."

11/21/2009  -1/4/2010 Share the Love v2 This past January (2009) at the end of the Share The Love Event v.1, Subaru donated $1,000,000 each to ASPCA, Meals On Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, National Wildlife Federation, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and again there will be a Share the Love Event for 2009. From November 21, 2009 - January 4, 2010 Subaru will donate $250 for every new Subaru sold or leased to the customer's choice of  ASPCA, Meals On Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, National Wildlife Federation, or Boys & Girls Clubs of America. v. 1 was successful and lets hope v. 2 is as well.
Share the Love Event 2009

11/6 Advertising with a difference! Subaru of Canada goes for effect and message as an Outback driver beats up on a Snuggie ad.
"The spot opens with the now-familiar Snuggie ad that took late-night airwaves by storm a year ago and led to record sales for the fleece blanket with sleeves: a shot of a woman, cozying up on her couch, whose hands are "trapped inside" a regular blanket, is then seen happily cocooned in a royal blue version of the Snuggie robe. Suddenly, a giant crowbar appears to rip the infomercial off of the TV screen. A flattened image of people in Snuggie robes crashes at the side of a mountain lake onto a beach where we see a silver Subaru Outback. A man in jeans and a henley shirt looks satisfied with the destruction he has wrought. Wordless, he turns away from the front of the screen and returns to the car, crowbar in hand, as a tag line graces the screen: "Maybe you should get out more."
...people who are watching lot of TV, [we thought] let's literally interrupt it -- let's be disruptive." For Subaru, which describes its target Outback consumer as a person with an "active lifestyle" aged 35 to 55, the Snuggie subversion is a sign the automaker is willing to take chances -- particularly noteworthy in a sea of supposedly humorous creative automotive-industry executions that are generally broad and forgettable.
While the message is tailored to the medium in most advertising campaigns, it's also rare that TV advertising participates in a metafictional exercise that appears to chide couch potatoes, or -- quel horreur! -- another brand.
..Last year, DDB drew attention for an ad featuring a group of boisterous German car engineers test driving a Subaru Impreza as they circled a driving track, singing along to the 1980s Falco hit Rock Me Amadeus. (The tag line was "Subaru, the Japanese car the Germans wish they'd made.") Along with scoring high consumer and industry ratings for its vehicles, Subaru appears to be getting results with the playful creative. Subaru Canada's sales were up 8.5% in the first nine months of the year, says Desrosiers Automotive Consultants, bucking almost all the other brands in the industry -- only Hyundai and Audi have shown more overall growth in the light-vehicle category this year.
The "savvy" Outback target consumer would likely appreciate the humour of the Snuggie mash-up, Mr. Simon said. But what's more surprising, so did the folks at Allstar Products Group LLC, who have sold more than six million Snuggies worldwide since it debuted the blanket and its memorable infomercial a year ago. "It's a smart move on [Snuggie's] part," said Scott Reid, creative director at Philter Communications Inc..."  read the article Montreal Gazette

10/28 Advertising to the gay community. 'GLAAD Honors Gay-Friendly Brands at Inaugural Media Awards in Advertising. Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation hosted its inaugural Media Awards in Advertising..
The awards show is the work of GLAAD's Advertising Media Program, launched in May to carry on the watchdog duties of the now-defunct Commercial Closet Association. In his opening remarks, GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios explained the media program's mission to "give advertisers the resources and incentives to include the [gay] community in its advertising."...
..Perhaps the most poignant moment of the evening came when Subaru CMO Tim Mahoney accepted his company's Corporate Responsibility Award. Subaru was the first national automaker to extend benefits to same-sex domestic partners. And for more than 15 years, it's been a respected example of brand building by a marketer that chose to tap a growing consumer niche despite obvious corporate hurdles and cultural taboos. "I remember thinking, I could get fired for this," Mr. Mahoney said of his decision to present gay-specific research findings to Subaru's execs back in the early '90s. The most common soundbite from focus groups at the time was, "All my friends who have Subarus are lesbians."
Subaru's embrace of the gay community in the '90s coincided with its decision to equip its vehicles with all-wheel drive. The brand's definitive slogan from the decade -- "It's not a choice. It's the way we're built" -- clearly spoke to more than transmission.
Mr. Mahoney also credited the brand's success in a recession -- Subaru sales are up 10% in 2009, he said -- to its share of LGBT buyers.
Lisa Sherman, general manager of Logo, presented Subaru with its award. Her advice for marketers debating whether to build gay-targeted advertising into their budgets was the evening's most memorable: "Not only is it good business, but it's the right thing to do." the article
10/4 Advertising Subaru is promoting both the Legacy sedan and the idea of one's personal legacy through a 6 month ad campaign with Logo. 'The effort focuses on prominent gay and lesbian entertainers and leaders and what "legacy" means to them.  Videos feature film director Angela Robinson, "Top Chef" contestant Jamie Lauren, comedienne Sandra Valls, model and actress Jenny Shimizu, actor Cheyenne Jackson, writer/producer/actor/director Patrik-Ian Polk and actor Bryan Batt. The videos will be featured on and several other Logo Web sites, like, and and will launch a series of posts tracing the legacy of lesbians and gays in pop culture, and will launch a contest urging its members to submit a video expressing what each of their legacies will be...' the article
9/30/09 Subaru sent hey sent out an Outback detergent postcard offering free soap, and a funny video. Stop by your local dealer for a sample while supplies last.... and be sure to check out the video
9/9/09  Subaru Outback detergent - ad campaign placard, skunk hand puppet and a stain remover stick. With the new Outback so back-road capable, this detergent gets out the stains only the new Outback puts in... (see image below). They sent out a postcard offering free soap, and a funny video. Stop by your local dealer for a sample while supplies last.... and be sure to check out the video

Winter 2009 'Go Love Spring Event' through 3/3/09 - 4/1/09 with increased rebates and lower interest rates on Legacy and Outback. See images below
6/27/09  SoA better off because of its niche status. "We shouldn't have the ups and downs like everyone else,"  (SoA chief) Doll said. "We kind of bat out singles."
Subaru's niche is smallish, rugged crossover vehicles for outdoorsy people of comfortable means. Even its sedans come with standard all-wheel drive. About 21 percent of buyers pay cash. The company sold 187,699 cars in 2008, and it now holds a 1.9 percent market share, its record high...
As an import brand, Subaru was battered by a weak U.S. dollar in the '80s. Prices for its cars skyrocketed, and sales collapsed. On corporate performance charts, the period from 1987 to 1994 is labeled "Valley of Despair."
Subaru climbed out with the introduction of its hit Outback wagon, memorably promoted by Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan...
The company's strategy as it waits out the downturn is to lay down a groundwork of strong fundamentals, including extra-attentive customer service. "Customers have long memories," he said, "particularly when times are tight."   the article
6/26/09 advertising, is Subaru's Love Your Car ad campaign silly and effective or demeaning and effective, and if it's effective does it matter?   Subaru '...has an entire campaign devoted to the theme of "love" as the prevailing emotion evoked by its products. There's even an ad on called "Love Letters," in which real Subaru owners read personal letters about their attachments to their cars...
...what bugs me is our cultural fixation on feelings as the basis for every sort of decision, from which car we park in our garages to which candidate we elect to public office.
As a society, we're much less interested in what something does than in how it makes us feel. This is why a Subaru is all about "love" while a campaign for the Cadillac CTS featured Kate Walsh pondering the question, "When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?" Um ... yuck.
If Thomas Paine made the 18th century famous as the "Age of Reason," American marketers and media must certainly be responsible for our current "Age of Emotion." ..
I'd like to think Subaru buyers are more emotionally mature than their car company believes them to be. When they say, "I love my Subaru," I'd like to think it's shorthand for "it's reliable ... it's safe ... runs great ... gets good gas mileage."
By hijacking "love," Subaru has reduced its buyers to a trite and emotionally immature lot, and quite honestly, they haven't done much to uplift the idea of love, either. Ah, but in the "Age of Emotion," love is everything. Reason, not so much...' read more from MaryBeth Hicks at the Wa. Times
6/6/09 More on Oscar winner Robert De Nero's Subaru Legacy advertisement
'As the boxer Jake La Motta, he roared the word “Why?” almost 40 times, his bare fists pounding cruel desolation on to the stone walls of Dade County Stockade.
Nearly 30 years and two Oscars later, Robert De Niro looks a little different in his latest performance. He jaunts out of his house, nods archly into the rearview mirror, and takes off in a Subaru Legacy. Speeding through unidentifiable Arcady, he passes a sheep. He nearly grins. The words “Love Your Life” fill the screen...
Fade to nausea.
The 30-second advert is a horror that can mean only one thing in these dark economic times: arguably the finest actor in Hollywood has become a star hawking a reasonably priced Japanese family car.
In honour of their hard-won thespian megastar, the manufacturers of Subaru, Fuji Heavy Industries, have not skimped on production values. Compared with Harrison Ford’s pub-based touting of Kirin lager and Nicholas Cage’s sedentary, crimson-suited pitch for pinball machines, De Niro’s spot is high art. The director of photography is Bob Richardson, a two-time Oscar-winner, and the background music is by the Scottish rock band Travis.
Fuji Heavy keep the numbers vague, but it is thought that the star of Goodfellas and Cape Fear was paid about $1.2 million (£750,000) for approximately ten seconds of on-screen appearance.
De Niro’s decision to take the Tokyo shilling, say Japanese advertising industry analysts, is surprising on several levels — not least because De Niro has been in hot demand from Japan for many years but has previously resisted. Many other Hollywood stars before him have given in to the temptation of easy Japanese money: Brad Pitt, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster and Sir Sean Connery feature prominently on the list, but more than 100 other stars of music and screen have trodden the same embarrassing path...' the article


Dec. 17, 2008 Automotive Marketer of the Year (updated 1/3/09, see below) Subaru of America has been named Automotive Marketer of the Year by, media, marketing and advertising website for news, social networking and research.
'Recognizing Subaru's thoughtful and disciplined approach to its marketing in 2008, singled out the "Love. It's what makes a Subaru a Subaru" work and the launch of the all-new Subaru Forester, along with the charity-based "Share the Love" campaign that is running currently, as ways the company has managed to maintain sales in a down market. Mediapost also noted Subaru of America's behind-the-scenes work in developing its marketing efforts, such as the introduction of a new Integrated Lead Management system (ILM) and a full-scale Web Redesign to better serve Subaru Dealers with strong lead generation and handling.
Karl Greenberg, editor at said, "Subaru is an anomaly in the auto business for a couple of reasons. First, Subaru has the kind of brand equity and staunch loyalty you usually find in luxury marques, which means they can keep their message on product and brand, not deals. Also, they have turned a factor that could have limited sales to snow states - standard all-wheel drive - into a performance attribute that helps create a connection between all the vehicles, from crossovers like Forester to younger-skewing performance cars like the Impreza WRX STI (which is hot in sun-belt states like California). Adds Greenberg, "The work that the company has done this year to bring the brand to new consumers by highlighting the passion of its existing buyers has been very effective."
"Our strategy in 2008 was to raise our standards for connecting with consumers at an emotional level by providing more discipline to our Brand communications architecture while overhauling our media and digital strategies to improve our targeting capabilities," said Kevin Mayer, director of marketing for Subaru. "We wanted to make sure we created a compelling message that would reach the right customers at the right point of media consumption for them."
In a difficult year for carmakers, Subaru is the only full-line brand whose year-to-date sales are ahead of the same time in 2007 - and the brand is also recording its highest U.S. market share ever. The launch of the all-new Subaru Forester, recently voted Motor Trend's 2009 Sport/Utility of the Year, was key to the brand's marketing in 2008, as well as reinforcement of Subaru's key strengths to consumers.
"At a time when the industry is in difficulty, we wanted to make sure that we kept a disciplined and steady hand on our brand," said Tim Mahoney, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Subaru of America, Inc. "An important aspect of our strategy has been to acknowledge that purchasing a vehicle is an emotional, rational and economic decision. Subaru offers distinct competitive advantages in each of these areas and we have been able to communicate our strengths of reliability, capability, value and a rewarding ownership experience in a way that has allowed us to grow our share in a challenging market." ' the article at Mediapost

1/3/09 update 'Dreadful. This may be the first "Marketer of the Year" story ever written that begins with that word. But this is the first year in maybe forever (or at least since Warren G. Harding was president) that has been, for marketers, dreadful. Especially auto marketers. Yet a few bucked the trend. Subaru was one. That is quite an accomplishment for a mid-market brand with a limited vehicle portfolio and marketing clout.
Considering its budget, which is less than some automakers spend on a single vehicle launch, it's surprising that Subaru was able to stay afloat at all--and do it without offering huge discounts.
Actually, the Cherry Hill, N.J. company has always been something of an anomaly in the U.S. car business: standard features like all-wheel-drive and an airplane-style boxer engine make for great rally racers, but tend to focus sales in the snow states.
But the brand, perhaps better known as the wagon of choice for the progressive set, is also in the unusual position of being a non-luxury brand that appeals to those who can afford a Mercedes or BMW.
And this year, the company has also increased sales. Granted, 1% for the year through November would not be striking in, say, 2002--but this year it is. The company did not see the kind of massive losses that others experienced.
With automotive industry sales down 35% in November, Subaru's minus-8% performance looks damned good--something like a positive 27%. The company also exited November with 1.9% share of the U.S. market--almost an all-time record, according to Kevin Mayer, director of marketing: "So we are nipping at VW and Mazda."
And the company's most recent launch--the 2009 Forester, which won Motor Trend's "SUV of the Year"--saw a 64% increase in sales, a record for November. So far this year, Forester sales are up 34%.
In addition, sales of the company's Subaru Impreza gained 4% in November and are up 10% so far this year. Sales of the Subaru Legacy sedan are up 9% through the year, although sales of the car were off 15% in November. The company says Impreza, Forester and Legacy are all heading for best-ever annual sales.
Tim Mahoney, who left Subaru in the 1990s to be general manager at Porsche, then returned as senior vice president and chief marketing officer in 2006, says the brand's stable performance this year reflects changes the company has implemented over the past three years. "We are now seeing dividends from building the right team," he says. "When I came back we had no director of corporate communications--or of advertising and marketing communications--so we made structural changes and rebuilt, just like rebuilding a sports team."
Mahoney also brought over from Porsche the practice of holding universal agency briefings. "Often, companies brief individually, so everyone gets a slightly different story, like the party game where you whisper a secret from one person to another and by the time it gets around the circle the secret is completely different." The universal agency briefing, he explains, allows the company to share priorities and its comparatively limited marketing resources.
Mahoney also switched Subaru's creative and media account to Minneapolis-based agency Carmichael Lynch, which had been Porsche's agency until the Atlanta luxury marque shifted creative and media to Chicago-based Cramer-Krasselt.
In 2006 came a new brand umbrella campaign, "It's What Makes a Subaru, a Subaru," that focused first on product attributes and then on the brand's core values around active driving, engineering excellence, environmentalism and safety.
"One of the most interesting things is that the brand is as much about customers as it is about products," says Kevin Mayer, Subaru's director of marketing. The company started a new market-message strategy called "beaconing" that illustrates the brand's values by talking about owners. "We went back to the customer and started thinking again about their values and how our values are like theirs. We dialed in our strategies back to core."
Mayer says Subaru owners are experience-seekers--"the types who collect experiences rather than things; they tend to be very environmentally aware and socially involved."
Subaru's approach is reflected in a current spot for Forester running through year's end that tells a story of four brothers who go every year to the easternmost point of Maine to watch the sun come up. "It comes from a really honest place about who they are," says Mayer.
The company launched the 2009 Forester in late April with a "Love Letters Viral Video" campaign and followed up with TV spots for Forester, Impreza and Outback at national, regional, and dealer levels (or, per Subaru nomenclature, "heart, brain and wallet").
And while the temptation surely was to go with the flow last fall and do deal ads, the company used its beaconing strategy to offer another kind of incentive. The "Share the Love" campaign allowed customers to select one of five charities to receive a $250 donation from the company following the purchase or lease of a new vehicle.
Subaru has also quadrupled online ad spend, and is engaged in both a new dealer Web site system and a full-scale brand Web redesign that will make the site contextual--meaning that visitors will be served content based on where they have been, what they have looked at, and what their interests are.' mediapost article

Sept 24, 2008 'As the auto industry sputters through its worst sales year since 1993, Subaru of America is clipping along, and it's doing so without an ad message touting price, performance or gas mileage. Despite offering the lowest incentives in the industry, the niche brand reported the industry's biggest percentage jump in U.S. new-vehicle sales -- 129,298 units through August, according to Automotive News, some 5.8% better than a year ago. What makes this feat even more impressive is the fact that most of the Subaru's loyal owners typically drive their vehicles up to 150,000 miles, meaning they aren't coming back to the market very often. So where are the new sales coming from? Referrals and word-of-mouth, said Tim Mahoney, senior VP-chief marketing officer at the automaker, who said Subaru owners love their vehicles and that leads to advocacy. Still, the company wasn't spreading the love far beyond that circle, which led the company to try its current advertising approach.
Mr. Mahoney said his team and the brand's ad agency, Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, did research last fall to learn why more people did not buy Subaru. He expected all-wheel-drive, which is offered standard on all Subarus, would be the main barrier to purchase, believing drivers in warm-weather states would figure they didn't need that system. But the research found a quarter of consumers simply didn't know much about the brand.
So Subaru started educating consumers with its umbrella ad theme, titled "Love," in the spring for the launch of the redone Forester SUV. Mr. Mahoney said emotions play a big role in the car-buying process and he criticized the many industry players that are hammering away at more rational reasons, such as price, fuel economy and performance in their communications. He said consumers' favorable opinion of Subaru has jumped by roughly 25 points since last year. "It's not a matter of money for us," Mr. Mahoney said. Subaru spent $74 million in measured media in the first half of 2008 compared with $55 million the same period a year ago, according to TNS Media Intelligence. But Mr. Mahoney said his ad budget this year is flat, although he has moved more to national TV and cut the number of markets for spot TV by roughly two-thirds from two years ago. Subaru also isn't gaining much additional volume from fleet sales, as only 5% to 6% of its total comes from rental outfits, businesses and government fleets, he said.
A lot of the credit can go to Subaru's 2009 Forester, which "has been a smash. They can't build enough of them," said Wes Brown, VP of consultancy Iceology.
The model's bigger size and more SUV-like styling are bringing in more male buyers, he said. Mr. Mahoney said the prior Forester model attracted more females and empty-nesters, but now buyers are better balanced between the genders and are a bit younger. The model is also winning over buyers from Honda's Cr-V, Toyota's RAV4 and Ford Escape, he said. But it's not just the Forester that's powering Subaru. Mr. Brown said in each of the past two months half of buyers are new to the brand -- a good thing considering its owners hold on to the cars so long. "They are broadening their buyer base," noted Mr. Brown. Subaru's Impreza WRX performance car has given the brand some street cred and brought in first-time buyers.
The marque's U.S. market share was the highest ever in August, at 1.5%, even though Subaru had one of the lowest* average incentives in the industry last month, at $752 per vehicle, said Jesse Toprak, exec director-industry analysis for auto-information site "That means your product is strong and selling itself."
Mr. Toprak said Subaru sales are getting a boost from Americans who are downsizing from big SUVs to smaller, more fuel-efficient models. And buyer consideration for Subaru has jumped in each of the past three months, based on consumers looking at the automaker's pages on Edmunds -- one of the few brands that has seen increases.
Subaru buyers tend to be sensible and practical, said Mr. Mahoney, and "that's the right place to be, especially now."  from adage

April, 25, 2008 new ad campaign. Subaru marketed as an alternative to the mainstream?  A new ad "Love. It’s What Makes a Subaru a Subaru" is to be shown to dealers at their national meeting this week.  'SoA announced a new ad based on the strong emotional bond Subaru owners have with their vehicles. While most consumers have heard of Subaru and believe it to be a good product, 60% have no strong emotional opinion or attachment to the brand. Subaru owners are known for their outspoken passion and love for the brand...
The campaign squarely places the car and the consumer at the center of the advertising. John Colasanti, CEO of Carmichael Lynch (hired last October to replace DDB) said, “Subaru owners are ‘experience seekers’ - they want to live bigger, more engaged lives. They choose Subaru as a conscious alternative to the mainstream. To them, the car is the enabler of that bigger life.”
By focusing on the love they have for their car, Subaru is challenging non-owners: do you love your car?
“Love is the most powerful emotion and “I love my Subaru”is the most used phraseI hear about our brand,” says Tim Mahoney of SoA. “We wanted to show the bond between Subaru owners and their cars through this work.”  Mahoney and Carmichael Lynch worked together when Mahoney was at Porsche. Estimated ad budget $200m.

April 24  Subaru of America today announced a new marketing campaign based on the strong emotional bond Subaru owners have with their vehicles. The campaign, developed by the company's brand agency, Carmichael Lynch, features print, TV and digital media components.
Two key research-based insights led to the campaign: the first was that while most consumers have heard of Subaru and believe it to be a good product, 60 percent have no strong emotional opinion or attachment to the brand. The second was that Subaru owners are known for their outspoken passion and love for the brand, and this applied across all models around the country.
The campaign squarely places the car and the consumer at the center of the advertising. John Colasanti, chief executive officer of Carmichael Lynch said, "Subaru owners are 'experience seekers' -- they want to live bigger, more engaged lives. They choose Subaru as a conscious alternative to the mainstream. To them, the car is the enabler of that bigger life."
By focusing on the love they have for their car, Subaru is challenging non-owners: do you love your car?
"Love is the most powerful emotion and "I love my Subaru" is the most used phrase I hear about our brand," says Tim Mahoney, chief marketing officer for Subaru of America, Inc. "We wanted to show the bond between Subaru owners and their cars through this work."
Kevin Mayer, director of marketing communications for Subaru of America, Inc., states, "In the past, a lot of work was done that spoke to the strong rational reasons for buying a Subaru -- now, we're adding a level of communication that focuses on the heart, or the emotional connection owners have with their Subaru."
The work is split into three tiers: The Heart, The Brain, and The Wallet, based upon the process of how consumers approach a new vehicle purchase. The Heart tier answers the question -- "Why could this brand be for me" and is not just about Subaru's durable, reliable and capable vehicles, it's also about the love people have for the brand and how it enables them to lives their lives.

Heart TV Spots- Welcome Party: Subaru owners are individualists and yearn for richer experiences. Welcome Party tells the story of four brothers that travel in their Subaru Outback to  the eastern most point in the U.S., every year, in order to be the first ones to welcome in the New Year. It's not an experience just anyone or car could have, but it is one a Subaru makes possible.
Subaru Heaven- For Subaru owners their vehicle becomes a trusted friend. Rather then just be sold off for scrap metal, Heaven shows how a Forester owner wants to
make sure his well-traveled Forester has a special final parking spot. Followed by his friend in his new Forester, they make the journey to Subaru Heaven; a final resting place (recycling and salvage yard) for beloved old Subaru vehicles. Here the owner says goodbye to his old Forester, and drives away in his newly-redesigned Forester as he starts the next chapter of his life.

January 3, 2008 Subaru continues to sponsor PBS's Antique Roadshow for a 2nd year. Filmed summer 2007 in Baltimore, Orlando, San Antonio, Louisville, Spokane and Las Vegas. Subaru brought its own antique to the show, a 1968 Subaru 360, and an all-new 2008 Subaru Tribeca. The shows will start airing January 7, 2008 on PBS stations. Each broadcast will have a 15-second beginning and ending ad featuring the Subaru Tribeca and announcing Subaru as a sponsor. Each broadcast is typically re-broadcast a number of times during the week.


October 16, 2007 Subaru Moves Its Ad Accounts, By STUART ELLIOTT, NYTimes, Published October 16, 2007
Subaru of America dismissed its creative and media agencies unexpectedly today and is moving its account, with spending each year estimated at $150 million, to Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.
The agencies losing their Subaru assignments, effective when contracts expire in six months, are both owned by the Omnicom Group. The creative agency is DDB Worldwide in New York and the media agency, also in New York, is Prometheus. Both were hired by Subaru in October 2004.
The surprising shifts are being made without a review. Executives at DDB were told of Subaru’s decision to dismiss them over a lunch meeting today at the agency, which had been scheduled previously to discuss creative plans. Because it was a creative meeting, Prometheus executives were not present; they learned of the Subaru decision later.
The reason behind the dismissals is a desire by Timothy J. Mahoney, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Subaru of America, to work again with Carmichael Lynch.
When Mr. Mahoney was general marketing manager at Porsche Cars North America, Carmichael Lynch was his agency; he left Porsche last year to return to Subaru, where he had previously worked from 1984 into the 1990s. Michael McHale, a spokesman for Subaru of America in Cherry Hill, N.J., confirmed a report of the switch that appeared today on the Advertising Age Web site.
Mr. Mahoney “just feels that Carmichael Lynch is a perfect fit for Subaru,” Mr. McHale said, and the chance to work with the agency again is “an opportunity not to miss.”
The opportunity arose because a year after Mr. Mahoney left Porsche, the company placed its account in review after working with Carmichael Lynch since 1999. The review, which began in May, ended in September with a decision to replace Carmichael Lynch with Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago. Subaru of America is owned by Fuji Heavy Industries of Japan. Porsche Cars North America is part of the German automaker Porsche.
Pat Sloan, a spokeswoman for DDB, said, “We’re proud of the work we do for Subaru, surprised this happened and sorry the relationship will end.”
Some eyebrows rose on Madison Avenue in July when Subaru introduced a general-market campaign for the 2008 Impreza WRX that was created not by DDB but by Moon City Productions in New York. Moon City is an agency that typically creates Subaru ads aimed at gay and lesbian consumers; it was the first time that a Moon City campaign for Subaru was aimed at all consumers.
“We want everyone to play in their own sandbox,” Mr. Mahoney said in an interview in July, referring to the usual lines of demarcation among the Subaru agencies, “but if there’s an opportunity to have a better idea, so be it.”

July 14 'SUBARU IS CREATING A MULTI-TIERED, three-part campaign for its Impreza lineup of cars that comprises a three-episode manga-style adventure called "Rebirth of the Legend" and a sponsorship and advertising commitment to X Games 13, in August--both supporting the Impreza WRX--and a more mainstream late-summer campaign for the tamer Impreza 2.5i. Kevin Mayer, director of advertising for Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Subaru, says the three efforts are intended to target--respectively--a "manchild" (Subaru's term) demographic of 20-something import-car buffs, a more broadly defined demo of extreme-sports and active-lifestyle enthusiasts, and a general market audience of men and women.
What all three efforts have in common, per Mayer, is a message about all-wheel-drive (which all Subarus have), engineering and action. The second episode of the "Return of the Legend" video series, which will be hosted within, has an animated WRX romping through a jungle. The central character "tames" it with the keys to the car that he happens to have, although he isn't sure just how he got them.
Mayer says the point is to celebrate the Japanese heritage of the WRX, and, by extension, of all things Subaru. "It's an iconic vehicle, redesigned really for the first time, so this gives us an opportunity to bring it to life."
The "Rebirth of a Legend" viral and broadcast video is aimed squarely at the tuner crowd--an ethnically diverse, bi-coastal demo, says Mayer, which is into modifying import cars and/or attending events like the nationwide "Hot Import Nights." They are a cross between nightclub and auto show, where tuners display their souped-up and modified compacts in an environment suffused with music, merchandise and gear. .. the article

May 23, SUBARU IS LAUNCHING A CORPORATE campaign to promote its lineup and attempt to bolster brand awareness. The "It's What Makes a Subaru a Subaru" campaign, the first iteration of which launched early last year, will use television, radio and print to tout its core values.  The campaign trumpets third-party endorsements for Subaru's engineering and also touts Subaru's powertrain features--particularly the so-called boxer engine and standard all-wheel-drive, which have made the brand fairly unique since its inception in the U.S. market.  There will also be an environmental thrust, with ads touting the U.S. Subaru plant's Earth-friendly footprint and low-emissions vehicles.  from

May 21, 2007 press release: 'With a range of new products hitting dealer showrooms this summer, Subaru is embarking on the next phase of the "It's What Makes a Subaru, a Subaru" campaign. The campaign, which started in early 2006, first focused on product attributes and now seeks to define the core values of the Subaru brand and business in television, radio and print ads breaking this month.
"We have such a strong story at Subaru and our research tells us that increasingly, consumers care about the values of the company in addition to the products they buy," said Tim Mahoney, senior vice president, chief marketing officer, Subaru of America, Inc. "We are using our key strengths of durability, performance and responsibility to tell this next part of the story."
 The brand awareness ads feature the Subaru core values of:
Active Driving - offered through the unique combination of standard Subaru All-Wheel Drive and a boxer engine that together delivers unrivalled performance.
Engineering Excellence - Subaru is recognized time and again by industry leading, third-party organizations for its world class safety, reliability, and durability.
Environmental Responsibility - The Subaru plant in the heartland of America produces zero landfill, while its backyard was designated a wildlife habitat. Subaru also offers PZEV vehicles that are U.S. EPA Certified SmartWay(TM) and are recommended in its Green Vehicle Guide.
"These ads are designed to speak to opinion leaders," said Kevin Mayer, director of marketing communications, Subaru of America, Inc. "They provide a clear statement of Subaru values and let people know more about what is behind the brand. The ads also form part of the foundation for the upcoming product launches."
The print ads will run in such publications as Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, and BusinessWeek, among others. The broadcast spots will run on both national and cable programming including NPR, Science Channel, Discovery, CNN, Headline News, CNBC, MSNBC and more.'

April 16, 2007 Subaru's Got 'Safe' Locked Up, but It Wants 'Fun,' Too. Full-Wheel-Drive Brand Broadens Message With 'Active Driving' Theme
By Jean Halliday Published: April 16, 2007 Subaru doesn't want to simply play it safe.
The Fuji Heavy Industries brand traditionally has stood for a safe, all-wheel-drive vehicle. But the automaker is trying to augment that message with the theme of "active driving" to broaden what Senior VP-Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney calls a new brand architecture that encompasses fun, freedom, adventure and confidence. It's about time the brand took a good look at itself. In the seven years since Mr. Mahoney left Subaru of America, it has had five advertising taglines and three marketing VPs. "I'm here to stabilize things," said Mr. Mahoney, who rejoined the automaker from Porsche last summer.  more

Jan 26, 2007 Subaru sponsors Hollywood's SAG awards. "Turner Entertainment is partnering with Subaru and several other high-profile marketing partners around this year’s 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® being simulcast live nationally from the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center by TNT and TBS Sunday, Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. ET. Subaru has taken a unique position as the sole sponsor across both the TNT and TBS live telecasts.  Tune in early as Subaru is also sponsoring Live from the Red Carpet on E! beginning at 5pm ET.  New commercials for Legacy GT and Impreza 2.5i will be featured throughout both programs."

Jan 26, 2007 SAN FRANCISCO — On Wheels, one of the nation’s leading minority automobile publications, awarded Subaru its Asian-American Diversity Advertisement Print Ad Award for the second consecutive time this month in Detroit. The winning ad, entitled "Wind, Fire, Wheel," beat out a number of other automotive makers by best communicating the Asian American love for speed and adventure.
Selected by both an in-house committee and a nationwide online consumer poll, the award was a sign of the emerging strength of the Asian American buyer when it comes to automobiles. It is estimated that in the large urban markets of the United States, one out of 10 new automobiles sold is bought by an Asian American.
"Subaru is a very unique automaker," said Jeff Yip, editor of Asians on Wheels, a subsidiary of On Wheels, which includes other publications such as African Americans on Wheels and Latinos on Wheels, "they have consistently gone where others have not. They know that the Asian American market is becoming a very powerful force in our industry. But more importantly, I think they have researched what our community wants. The car in the winning ad is a high performance car, it’s fast and handles well. I think the award basically verifies Subaru’s awareness with respect to our community.  more

Jan 25, 2007  Subaru sponsors Antique Roadshow! "Subaru has signed on to become a national sponsor of the PBS series Antiques Roadshow for the show’s 2007 season. This is the 11th season for Antiques Roadshow, PBS’ most watched series.  "Antiques Roadshow is part treasure hunt, part history lesson and part travel adventure - a mix that resonates well with the Subaru customer,” said Tim Mahoney, Senior VP and CMO. “As a niche marketer of 100 percent all-wheel drive vehicles, Subaru has to stand out from the crowd. We believe our sponsorship with PBS helps us do that."As a sponsor, Subaru will receive two 15-second on-air spots for each Antiques Roadshow broadcast along with extensive off-air benefits that include creative participation in live Antiques Roadshow events (attended by over 30,000 people each summer), vehicle display opportunities, added visibility through video-on-demand episodes, Web site exposure and more."

May 26.  Tim Mahoney is rejoining Subaru of America in the new position of senior VP-marketing and chief marketing officer beginning June 26.  Mr. Mahoney has spent the last 7 years as general marketing manager of Porsche Cars North America. He originally joined Subaru in 1984 and was part of the team that roused Subaru in the mid-1990s by focusing on the brand's all-wheel-drive capabilities with ads (from agency Temerlin McClain, Dallas) that featured Australian actor Paul Hogan.  from advertising age

Feb 2006  Subaru signs singer Sheryl Crow's song "Every day is a winding road" on ads showing all wheel drive works on that winding road. It's an odd Subaru thing because Sheryl's ex is Subaru's previous spokesman, bike rider Lance Armstrong!  Anyway, the new campaign will focus on safety similar to Volvo. The 'Think. Feel. Drive' line used over the past year will still be used.
Joe Cronin, former worldwide account director on Toyota at Saatchi & Saatchi, succeed Jack Wheaton as group account director on Subaru at DDB.

Jan 2006  'It's what makes a Subaru a Subaru' campaign starts


'Think Feel Drive' campaign started with new ad agency DDB.

October, 2005. Subaru plans an ad campaign on MTV's new TV channel, LOGO on October 11 with a group of short ads, along with magazine ads. LOGO is focused on the gay and lesbian community.
September 05
Week of July 11, 2005 TV advertising to start for the new B9 Tribeca with the rock song 'Dust In The Wind' (by Kansas) playing as a Tribeca drives by and other SUVs turn to dust as a voice says 'the end of the SUV as we know it and the beginning of what an SUV should be'.
The Tribeca has been available on car lots since mid June.
March 21, 2005. SoA announced a new ad campaign for the Legacy and Outback. The ads are a first step in an integrated marketing campaign from new ad agency DDB New York. “We are excited to bring the Subaru global brand philosophy ‘Think. Feel. Drive.’ to our US marketing and advertising strategy,” said Rick Crosson,  marketing VP.  “These first spots take customers back to the roots of Subaru by reflecting on our heritage, core technology, as well as the emotional connection our customers have with their vehicles.  We think this campaign will continue to broaden the Subaru brand’s appeal with fresh creative that signals a return to the clever sense of humor Subaru is known for.” “Think” focuses on differentiating the brand from the perspective of what drivers and passengers need in technology, style, value and service.  “Feel” is about sensitivity to the ride and the environment. It is about the emotional connection that begins with engineers and designers and extends from car to driver. “Drive” is a focus on both the Subaru driving experience and the dedication to quality inside and out.

October 4, 2004- Subaru picks DDB New York as their advertising agency of record following a nationwide search and evaluation of the current marketing and advertising agency landscape.
As we continue to innovate and expand our product lineup in the U.S. market, we need to communicate the Subaru brand promise in a way that is relevant, memorable and differentiated in the marketplace," said Fred Adcock, executive vice president, Subaru of America, Inc. "We are pleased to partner with DDB New York for their unique capabilities and demonstrated understanding of our brand goals and business objectives, and we think this partnership will serve as a catalyst in moving the Subaru brand forward among a very crowded and competitive automotive brand landscape."
Among the top talent tapped for the new Subaru team at DDB New York is Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Lee Garfinkel and Managing Director Peter Hempel. Lee Garfinkel is no stranger to Subaru and in fact cut his creative teeth as a junior copywriter on the Subaru account in the early 1980s with then-agency Levine, Huntley, Schmidt & Beaver. Peter Hempel, who has been working with Garfinkel since 1993, also brings a wealth of consumer retail brand experience from his most recent position prior to DDB as the EVP and head of marketing for Gap.
"My first car and almost every other subsequent has been a Subaru," said Lee Garfinkel, chairman and chief creative officer, DDB New York. "I know I speak on behalf of the entire Subaru Team at DDB New York when I say that we are thrilled to have Subaru as a client and we think we are the best partner to work closely with them to move the brand forward in the market."

'Subaru. Driven By What's Inside'. February 3, 2003, Lance Armstrong signed with Subaru (for $12m?) after his 4th Tour De France win. He has had a relationship with Subaru since the early 1990s on a Subaru sponsored bike team. Armstrong ads run through 2004/early 05. "Lance Armstrong is a perfect fit. He's a rugged individualist. He's authentic and passionate about what he believes. He's engineered like no other to perform like no other" says Fred Adcock, Subaru exec VP.

Subaru has a long-standing affiliation with cycling, spanning a 12-year period, and the connection with Lance Armstrong goes back to some of his earliest races as a member of a Subaru-sponsored cycling team in the early 1990s.
“I am pleased and excited to be the new Subaru spokesperson because of their shared passion for sport, for excellence and for purpose,” Armstrong says.  The new campaign will launch nationally in April with Armstrong appearing in both television commercials and print advertising for the Outback, Forester, Baja and WRX. In addition, Subaru has been designated the official vehicle of the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling team, of which Armstrong is a member. “Lance Armstrong is a hero that everyone can identify with,” says Adcock. “He is an inspiration to millions of Americans.”

Ads using Lance run through early 2005.
The new theme line, “Subaru. Driven By What’s Inside,” replaces “The Beauty Of All-Wheel Drive,” which was introduced in 1995. “‘Driven By What’s Inside’ makes a powerful statement about our brand,” says Rick Crosson, Vice
President of Marketing, Subaru of America. “It says we’re passionate about the engineering inside every one of our vehicles. It says we build every Subaru to meet the needs of the people inside them. And it says we are driven by conviction, not by convention.”

'When You Get It, You Get It' (June 2002) ad campaign.

"Subaru is a company that has always marched to the beat of a different drummer. Our owners are the same way -- smart people who think for themselves and go their own way. We wanted to capture those shared values and emotional connections in the new advertising." Mark Darling, VP marketing, SoA.  This campaign, which doesn't use Paul Hogan, features the strengths of  all-wheel drive and uses “The Beauty of Subaru All-Wheel Drive" slogan. "Subaru has made tremendous strides in recent years in both the quality and diversity of their product line. It was time to make a dramatic new statement about the image of the Subaru brand," said Dennis McClain, Chief Executive Officer, Temerlin McClain. "In all our consumer research, we learned that this new campaign creates a sense of exclusivity about owning a Subaru -- without being pretentious or exclusionary. The work is an invitation to like-minded people to join the club."
2001 'What Are You Made Of' campaign with Martina Navratilova, snowboarder Victoria Jealouse and biker Tara Llanes.
2000 Martina signs with Subaru. "What Do I Know' ad campaign with Wimbledon tennis champ Martina Navratilova, Olympic skiier Diann Roffe-Steinrotter and golfers Julie Inkster and Meg Mallon.
1996-2000 Paul Hogan stars in a very sucessful series of ads memorable for humorous chase scenes with the Outback in all sorts of Austrialian Outback rugged road conditions.
1995 'The Beauty of All-Wheel-Drive'. Paul Hogan becomes Subaru's spokeman. goes live
1992 'Subaru. What  to Drive'
1989 'We built our reputation by building better cars'
1978  Susan Ford, 21 year old daughter of ex-President Gerald Ford, did a TV ad for Subaru where she sang a song
1975 'Inexpensive and built to stay that way'. US Ski team makes Subaru 4wd wagon their official car
1970 'The Subaru is not a Japanese Beetle'
1968  'Cheap and ugly does it'

Ad companies Help wanted with this section- specific history and tips welcomed.
1970-Green Dolmatch
1973-1975 Spiro and assoc
1975 G. Lois
1975-1991 Levine Huntley Schmidt Beaver
1991-1993 Wieden-Kennedy
1995-2005 Temerlin McClain
March 2005-Ocot 06  DDB
October 16, 2007 Subaru of America is moving its account, with spending each year estimated at $150 million, to Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

Do you have an image that you think should be here?

from the mid-1970s
Subaru advertisment with Japanese baseball player Masaichi Kaneda
1975 brochure, © SoA
Subaru Offical Ski Team advertising from 1980
Subaru Official car of the US ski team advertisment 1980 ©SoA
Subaru introduces the hillholder clutch in 1980
Subaru introduces the Hillholder clutch, 1980. ©SoA
Inexpensive. And built to stay that way'
1984 Subaru 4x4 ad, ll model 1984
Inexpensive. And built to stay that way' ©SoA
1995 Subaru ad promoting safety: crumple zones, airbags, all wheel drive
1995 ad promoting crumple zones, airbags, all wheel drive.
The Beauty of All-Wheel-Drive ©SoA
Subaru XT ad from 1985.
Subaru's 1st sports car was the 1985
Inexpensive. And built to stay that way ©SoA
Martina Navritolova Subaru Forester ad
Martina Navratilova Subaru Forester ads started May 2001
2000-2002 © SoA, Martina Navratilova
Lance Armstrong Subaru advertising from 2003
Lance Armstrong Subaru ad from 2003,  Driven By What's Inside © SoA, Lance Armstrong, LAFoundation

It's what makes a Subaru a Subaru
2006 magazine ads

Subaru Outback ad, May 2006
2006 Outback XT
Subaru Tribeca ad, May 2006
2006 B9 Tribeca
Subaru Forester, What Makes A Subaru A Subaru
2006 Forester XT
Subaru WRX STI ad, May-June 2006
2006 STI
2008 Tribeca ad2008 Subaru Tribeca magazine ad
'After years of conquering the outdoors, we've conquered the indoors'. 2008 Tribeca ad

09 Forester ad using the new line 'Love. it's what makes a Subaru, a Subaru.' May 2008
2008 STI ad, April -May 2008
2008 STI ad, April - May 2008

2008 Outback ad 'Why Buy Middle Of Road When You Can Buy Middle of Nowhere'

2008 Impreza 'Like Stilettos You Can Run In'
subaru lot to love sale event, 2008
the first 'Lot to Love' sale event, Labor Day weekend 2008
2008 Subaru Lot To Love ad campaign playing cards
2008 Lot To Love Event playing cards

2009 Forester Motor Trend SUV of the year ad
2009 Forester Motor Trend SUV of the year ad, 
November 2008
2009 Subaru Outback ad
2009 Subaru Outback snow adv, fall 2008- winter 2009
2009 WRX ad- Buy Stock in Rubber, Spring 2009
2009 WRX- Buy Stock in Rubber, Winter-Spring 2009
Winter 2009 Go Love Event
Winter 2009 'Go Love Spring Event', ends 4/1/09, with increased rebates, lower interest rates on select models
2010 Legacy Afterglow magazine ad
2010 Legacy
Subaru Outback detergent- ad campaign 9/09
Sept-Oct  2009. Very cute Subaru Outback detergent ad campaign placard,  with skunk hand puppet and a  stain remover stick. With the new Outback so back-road capable, the ad campaign was that this detergent gets out the stains only the new Outback puts in... dealers given a supply of small bottles of detergent to hand out. A silly campaign that made people smile.
more on the skunk

Subaru Outback detergent magazine ad 10/09
2010 Outback ad
10 Outback magazine ad, Sept 09
2010 Subaru Outback Motor Trend SUV of the Year magazine ad, 12/2009-/2010
2010 Subaru Outback Motor Trend SUV of the Year magazine ad, late 2009
1/25- 2/14/2010. Subaru True Love Event.  a campaign designed to run late January through Valentine's Day 2010. Includes mirror hangers, door signs and banners,
1/25- 2/14, 2010. Subaru True Love Event, with dealer give-away box of a Subaru logo embossed chocolate heart
2010 Subaru Love Spring Event , March 1-31, 2010.
March 1-31. 2010- Subaru Love Event
2010 Legacy magazine ad March 2010
2010 Legacy magazine ad March 2010
2010 WRX ad, April 2010. Late in the model run
2010 WRX magazine ad, April 2010. The redesigned 2011 model WRX and STI were announced early April and were getting lots of publicity but wouldn't be available for a few months
dirty Subaru Impreza magazine ad from June 2010
dirty Subaru Impreza magazine ad from June 2010
2010 Subaru Outback magazine ad, June 2010
2010 Subaru Outback magazine ad, June 2010
2011 Subaru Legacy magazine ad August 2010
2011 Subaru Legacy magazine ad August 2010
2011 Subaru WRX magazine ad , October 2010
2011 WRX magazine ad, October 2010

window sticker from the 'Lot To Love'  campaign, August 3-31 2010

window stickers from the 'Lot To Love' ad campaign, August 3-31 2010
Lot To Love Event
Lot To Love, 8/3-31, 2010 ad campaign window sticker
'Lot To Love' ad campaign, August 3-31, 2010
window sticker
2011 Subaru Outback magazine advertisement

3rd annual 'Share the Love Event' 
November 20, 2010 - Jan 3, 2011. 
Subaru donated $5m to 5 charities ($1m, ea)
The March 2011 Farmer's Almanac give-away, 'compliments of Subaru.
Farmer's Almanac, 'compliments of Subaru' March 2011. 
Full of the normal general weather, crop, eclipse, food, calendar information that almanacs are known for, plus a ads for Subaru.
See ads below.
2011 - 'zero landfill' ad
2011 - this 'zero landfill' ad is the the 2011 Farmer's Almanac, March 2011, 'compliments of Subaru'
Subaru ad- 95% of subaru sold in the last 10 years are still on the road
Subaru ad- 95% of subaru sold in the last 10 years are still on the road. This small ad was in the March 2011 Farmer's Almanac give-away, 
2011 Subaru Love Spring Event, March 1-31 2011
the 3rd annual Subaru Love Spring Event, March 1-31 2011.
This small ad was in the from the March 2011 Farmer's Almanac give-away
3 'hang tags' from the March, 2011 Love Spring Event',  designed to hang from the rear view mirror. Dealers will typically put a sale price or etc on the lower part (cropped off here for image size)
Subaru ad for the ASPCA: without dogs how would we get rid of the new car smell
funny Subaru ad supporting the ASPCA (around March 2011)
"Without dogs how would we get rid of that new car smell"
Subaru Forester ad 'I was driving on a gravel road...'
Subaru Forester ad 'I was driving on a gravel road...' 
from March 2011
Subaru Outback magazine ad with dog
Subaru Outback magazine ad around March 2011. With 'doggles'- dog eye protection 
2011 Subaru Outback magazine advertising- My Outback went over a guardrail
2011 Subaru Outback magazine advertising- my Outback hit a snowback, went down a ravine... November 2011
2012 subaru impreza magazine ad
Winter is a terrible thing to waste. 
Love. Its what make a Subaru, A Subaru
2012 Impreza ad, January 2012
2012 Subaru Impreza magazine ad- good news, its winter
good news, its winter
Love. Its what make a Subaru, A Subaru
2012 Subaru Impreza magaizne ad, February 2012
Introducing the all new 2012 subaru impreza small magazine ad,  February 2012
'Introducing the all-new 2012 Subaru Impreza', February 2012 magazine ad (March issue). February 2012 was the official intro month for the new Impreza. click for larger image
2012 subaru lot to love summer sale event
2012 Lot To Love Event, August 2012
2013 subaru lot to love summer sale event
2013 Lot To Love Event, August 2012


more soon

have you seen an ad that should be here?

Subaru ad on the side of a Seattle bus, June 2006
Seattle bus, June 2006