Monday, March 12, 2012

Subaru - Selling Love that Lasts

Cars are consumer products, but unlike refrigerators, they can carry so much more meaning to us. And who hasn't watched an odometer roll over an important milestone and thought about other milestones--some much more significant.

Commercials are consumer motivators--and for durable goods like cars, made of metal and plastic and many mysterious parts in hidden places, the best way to move the metal is to move the emotions of the customer.

Subaru's new ad does this, in showing an odometer  turning over to 200,000--a rather momentous milestone in the life of a car--and then giving us some meaningful glimpses into the life of the (original) owner--in reverse order. Presumably now, we see his son riding in back, who's maybe five. At around 98,000 miles, his wife and new baby ride in back--on the way home from the hospital, perhaps? Further back, we see that special first date, that contains the first kiss. At around 25,000 miles, we find out how met his wife. Further back to a mere 15 miles on the clock, the young owner, with curly hair and short beard, looks lovingly upon his brand new car before climbing in and driving off into the happy future that we know he'll have--but he doesn't.

The message? Love--of car, of family, of life--and also durability, a safe place for your loved ones, the pleasure of long term relationships. Trust your future to our car. It's very sweet and never heavy handed.

Selling cars is all about building relationships. Think of what Toyota lost with it's safety issues not long ago. Consider the love people have for their youthful Honda Civics, and how it provides a rich customer base for today's Honda Pilots and Accords. Chevrolet recently aired an ad showing a pair of seniors going on a date--and reliving their youth as they drive along in their Chevy (a new one, of course).

Subaru has been doing very well lately, with the top manufacturer quality rating from Consumer Reports for 2012 as well as having sold lots of cars over the last few years during a down market. Surely even more folks will consider the brand after being moved by this new ad.

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