Subaru extends new ads with tie-ins for popular TV shows
- Subaru is partnering with the CBS show "Life in Pieces" on an in-show integration and a content series with talent from the TBS and TNT show "Miracle Workers," according to a press release.
- The campaign, for the brand's 2019 Forester, will also include premium digital video and integrations with streaming platforms, with the goal of engaging consumers on multiple devices.
- Three new 60-second national TV spots, created by Carmichael Lynch, are also debuting. The commercials highlight the model's safety features and focus on the lives of three different Forester owners, including a couple going on an extended road trip, parents of teenage drivers and all the stuff a young family has carried in their vehicle.
The new Subaru campaign is the latest example of how automakers are expanding their marketing beyond traditional TV commercials in an effort to reach a new generation of car buyers, millennials and Gen Z, who haven't shown much interest in auto brands and also spend more time on digital platforms. Subaru's digital video and streaming platform integrations for its new campaign align with the trend that auto marketers are embracing data-driven, interactive and mobile video campaigns more quickly than other industry segments. Auto brands are seeing a 14% growth in interactive video impressions, and mobile interactive impressions grew 78% year-over-year, according to Innovid research.
Subaru is also the latest auto brand to embrace higher-quality product placements and in-show partnerships, with its integration with the CBS, TBS and TNT shows. In another example, Range Rover recently teamed up with Hulu on a futuristic car that appears in the streaming platform’s series "The First."
As the demand for higher-value brand integrations is growing, the product placement market in the U.S. was expected to reach $10 billion in 2018, according to a PQ Media report. The value of product placements increased 13.7% to $8.78 billion in 2017, and the growth is being driven by the rise in over-the-top TV viewership with brands looking for ways to reach viewers on the platforms, which don't always accept traditional advertising. Network TV was expected to account for 70% of product placements.
Focusing on nontraditional marketing tactics has been a successful strategy for Subaru. The brand saw a 17% month-over-month increase in site traffic, with more than 55% coming from mobile devices, after running highly targeted ads on mobile-friendly sites like Amazon, Car Gurus and The Washington Post during NFL games in October 2017, according to Gartner L2.
These interactive, digital-first efforts helped Subaru become one of the top automotive brands in social influence, encompassing a brand's performance in online and offline conversations. Subaru jumped eight spots to the No. 5 spot in Engagement Labs' TotalSocial report released in July 2018.