Subaru takes its ‘uncommon’ platform to winter roads

Who: Subaru, with Zulu Alpha Kilo for strategy and creative, with Agence Rinaldi for Quebec creative, OMD for media, Circle for production (directed by Shaunoh), with Zulubot for editing and Eggplant for music/sound.

What: “Winter is less scary,” a series of ads that show how Subaru drivers can feel safe even in treacherous winter driving conditions. The new creative builds on the “Welcome to Uncommon” brand platform launched last fall.

When & Where: The campaign launched this week, with video creative running in English and French on TV, digital and social until the end of March.

Why: Working with Zulu Alpha Kilo, Subaru launched the brand platform in September, following extensive research with consumers and employees. “We have been thorough and purposeful in understanding our current audience, while learning what will draw new customers into our brand,” said Don Durst, Subaru’s senior vice-president, sales, marketing and brand, at the time. “We are confident that we have set a new foundation for years to come.”

The core insight was about a shared sense of an independent spirit and the desire to create one’s own path, to do things in an uncommon way.

“This campaign builds from our brand platform launch in the fall in an exciting way,” said Cynthia Bouris, vice-president, marketing and brand management, in a release introducing the campaign. “We wanted to clearly demonstrate an uncommon advantage our vehicles have when it comes to capability and safety in the winter months.”

How: The video ads depict different winter driving scenarios, with Subarus driving along gloomy, snowy, mountain roads. But as nerve-wracking as it may seem, their drivers handle it all with uncommon ease and calm. The viewer is meant to feel tense at first, and then relieved thanks to the Subaru’s safety features. “Winter is less scary in a Subaru,” says a voiceover.

And we quote: “For us, we needed to really create the tension. Not just in the tone, but also with the volume of snow to show viewers just how unforgiving these environments were,” said Wain Choi, executive creative director at Zulu Alpha Kilo. “Playing that tension off with the actual capability and safety of these vehicles is what makes this a compelling campaign.”

David Brown