More than 77 million dogs are owned by people in over 45 million households in the US. A statistic advertisers like Subaru have noticed. In fact, half of Subaru drivers own a pet.
That’s why the car company’s latest ad campaign focuses squarely on not just the owners, but their dogs – who are shown “driving” the Subaru Forester in an ad that carries the tagline “Dog tested. Dog approved.” The ads started running this past weekend.
Subaru has gone a step further by partnering with the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). At “Share the Love,” a recent Subaru sales event during which new car buyers could choose to donate $250 to one of five charities, the ASPCA was the top choice.
Subaru began an integrated marketing strategy two years ago that includes arranging for media placements and sponsorships. The car company has worked deals with Animal Planet shows “Groomer Has It” and “Dogs 101,” and will be advertising during National Geographic’s “Dog Whisperer” marathon on February 15 and “The Westminster Dog Show” on the USA cable network on February 15 and 16.
As for the ads themselves, Kevin Mayer, Subaru’s director of marketing communications, thought animal actors Olive and Zelda were impressive. “The dogs were such good stunt dogs and did a lot of the facial expressions just naturally,” he says. Rumor has it that, instead of union scale, they’re willing to work for food.