Fairfield Subaru believes in making the world a better place, which is why we support the Subaru Love Promise Community Commitment. It’s our pledge to do right by the communities in which we all live and work. We are excited to partner together with The 100 Club of Solano and Yolo Counties to help make our community a better place.
-by Jack Walsworth
CAMDEN, N.J. — Subaru of America is hooked on a feeling. That feeling is love, an emotion that has been a recurring theme in the Japanese automaker’s U.S. marketing since 2008, evolving and growing, just like the once-niche brand. In its latest TV commercial, Subaru is shifting the love theme from its products to the philanthropic efforts of its retailers. Named “We Call It Our Love Promise,” the 30-second clip shows various scenes of Subaru retailers working in their communities, whether fundraising or volunteering for causes. Subaru of America CEO Tom Doll is also shown at a Camden school event, where the automaker donated books to children. The commercial ends with “Love. It’s what makes Subaru, Subaru,” a subtle change to the automaker’s tag line of “Love. It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru,” the phrase introduced in a 2008 commercial that launched a new marketing era.
“There’s no cars, there’s no offer, there’s no incentive, there’s no comparison of our product against anybody else,” Bethke said. “There’s no traditional automotive trappings of any kind. It’s just designed to say, ‘You can love our brand, and you can love our retailers.’ Subaru’s Love Promise, says Bethke, is a companywide initiative tied to the community and customers. “We’re basically saying to the consumer, ‘At Subaru, we have a Love Promise. Our company has it, and our retailers have it,’ ” Bethke said. “And our promise is to do good and to make our touch points with our brand and with our customers’ experiences based on love. “The new commercial highlighted charities supported by donations from Subaru and its retailers.
“I think the commercial and the marketing really clearly delivers the message to the customer that Subaru is different and is trying to work in the communities through their retailers and trying to be, and I think succeeding, in being more than just a car company,” Sommer said. “That’s really come through over the past few years.”
Sommer’s store does volunteer work with the local Big Brothers Big Sisters, holds fundraising events for schools and supports other hands-on organizations.
More on the way
Bethke said more spots similar to the new one will follow, and Subaru plans to run the initial ad at different times throughout the year, meaning it won’t be a one-and-done commercial.
Bethke: “It should feel like a Subaru spot,” Bethke said. “It should feel similar. It should feel like it comes from the same place because we want it to. Bethke acknowledged that the spot launches in what is traditionally a sales event month. But he’s confident in the ad’s message and doesn’t see the shift of focus as a risk. “For us, it’s just another way to say, ‘Well, Subaru does things differently,’ ” Bethke said. “The industry goes one direction; we go in another direction.
The foundation But adding love to the marketing strategy has simply helped the brand in what is its largest market. “Love is clearly the foundation of the company,” Bethke said. And Bethke doesn’t see love running out of favor anytime soon at Subaru, despite the marketing initiative being more than a decade old. “For us, with the brand owning love and being synonymous with love, we’re just saying, how do we take that, continue to own it and now just continue to expand it?” he said.
“I don’t see love going away. I only see it getting bigger and stronger. We started with just love of the car, and then it was love of the brand, and now it’s love of the retailer. All of those things just continued to grow and take more and more space.”