Subaru of America launched a campaign to promote the 2020 Outback and its safety features, the company said in a press release shared with Marketing Dive. The effort focuses on TV and digital content integrations, including partnerships with publishers BuzzFeed and National Geographic.
Subaru is showcasing National Parks with BuzzFeed through a three-part series featuring a choose-your-own-adventure style video quiz. National Geographic will create custom content about the Outback and how it facilitates outdoor adventures. The Outback will also be part of a three-part mini-series on YouTube centered around science titled "SciShow."
Three TV spots highlight the car's new features and Subaru's loyal customers. The first, "Where the Heart Is," shows a family visiting national parks, describing how they got a Subaru to connect to nature and each other. The second, "Moment of Silence," honors the car's safety record as a father recalls a prior car accident. "Easy Commute" tells a real woman's story of becoming loyal to the Outback when she was commuting 120 miles each way.
Subaru's digital content partnerships could help the brand drive deeper engagement with key audiences like Gen Z and young millennials, who are looking for short, entertaining digital content but have not displayed as high an interest in car ownership as previous generations.
BuzzFeed tends to win favor among younger readers, and choose-your-own-adventure storytelling has continued to emerge as a trend with publishers. Netflix, for example, saw success with the interactive movie "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" in 2018. Platforms like YouTube and brands like Hanes have pursued strategies along these lines as well.
Digital content is an ongoing focus for Subaru, which last year partnered with the CBS show "Life in Pieces" for an in-program integrations. The brand also worked on a content series with talent from the TBS show "Miracle Workers."
Subaru's strategy has appeared to resonate: The marketer ranked No. 2 in brand loyalty among all mainstream automakers on Edmunds's brand report in 2018, with customer loyalty increasing from 45% in 2007 to 61% in 2017. The car brand also ranked highest among word of mouth car recommendations in 2016.
The new Outback campaign also employs emotional storytelling via the TV spots to illustrate the experiences of the car brand's loyal customers, while highlighting features in the new model.