Dogs drive in Subaru’s terrific commercials

February 9, 2010

subarudogsIf you need a few good grins, check out a few of Subaru’s 30-second commercials featuring a pair of dogs driving a car around. They have some interesting adventures. The same dog drives, and the same one rides shotgun in each commercial.

The campaign, which you can view at under the “dog tested” tab, got a lot of notice in the advertising industry. From Ad Age:

To encourage pet owners to drive its cars, Subaru has gone to the dogs — literally.

This weekend, the automaker will roll out a series of spots, created with Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, featuring all-canine drivers of the Subaru Forester under the tagline “Dog tested. Dog approved.” Dogs are shown “driving” and even parallel parking their vehicles to tout Subaru’s pup-friendly brand message. The spots will premiere during Animal Planet’s “Dogs 101” marathon Saturday, with airings planned for Animal Planet’s Sunday telecast of its sixth-annual “Puppy Bowl,” National Geographic’s “Dog Whisperer” marathon Feb. 15 and USA’s coverage of “The Westminster Dog Show” Feb. 15 and 16. Subaru will also air different versions of the spots on its YouTube channel and on several key websites.

Kevin Mayer, the car maker’s director-marketing communications, said about half of Subaru’s customers own a pet, and it indexes higher than most car makers with dog owners. At its most recent annual sales event, Share the Love, customers could choose one of five charities to donate $250 of their Subaru purchase. A large percentage of those donations went to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, of which Subaru is an official sponsor. Beginning in 2008, the marketer started running print ads touting its ASPCA partnership that read, “Without dogs, how would you get rid of that new-car smell?”

Sad note: I parallel park just about as well as that dog.  Apparently neither of us care if our car’s hind end is hanging out a bit!

Filed under: pets, connected — Phyllis DeGioia @ 5:47 am


  1. Haha, that’s hilarious. My dog would be through the drive-through window if he smelled all those burgers wafting through the air.

    Comment by Brett — February 9, 2010 @ 7:52 am

  2. Thank you, Phyllis, for giving me one more way to procrastinate on getting through my to-do list and for helping me to feel that I’m not alone in my deficient parallel parking skills.

    Comment by Susan — February 9, 2010 @ 9:29 am

  3. I love that the dogs were just as baffled and annoyed by unintelligible fast food order man as we are.

    Comment by Janeen — February 9, 2010 @ 10:00 am

  4. I actually have one of Subaru’s print ads hanging in my cubicle (aka “the officle”). It features the wonderful muttsy black dog and says “without dogs, how would we get rid of that new car smell?” Next to my rotating feature of NESR dogs needing homes, that ad gets more comments than anything else!

    I *loved* my old Subaru Legacy. Sparky, DH and I traveled many happy miles in that car and it handled like a dream in the infrequent snows up here. To this day, Sparky recognizes similar Legacy-like cars and will wiggle with excitement at the prospect of another adventure.

    Comment by Melinda — February 9, 2010 @ 10:47 am

  5. oh my gosh, I was about to pee in my pants. that commercial at the drive through is so darned funny!

    Comment by ericka — February 9, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

  6. I just now saw one of these ads. I guess I was on vacation when Phyllis blogged it. Love it!

    Comment by Kim Thornton — July 25, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

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