It’s no secret, cars have been around for decades but the variety of brands in the market continues to grow. A common perception of what kind of value a car could bring to an individual is how it can become an “extension of a person’s personality.” So with this idea in mind, how are we being enticed to think about buying a car from a specific brand?
This is where Subaru steps in with their can ‘do’ attitude.
Lets paint the scene…
You’re sitting at home minding your own business and watching some tv when the show cuts to an ad break. Here comes out the phone while we wait for the show to start again. All of a sudden your foot starts tapping to the sound of the beat and repetitive tune, so you look back to the tv where these adorable singing dogs clearly want to go and do something. It wraps up with the three dogs and their owners going on an adventure to the beach, and a final shot of the car that transported them to their destination. We are left to ponder, “do more of the good stuff.”
Well that wasn’t so bad and actually rather captivating.
In general, advertisements appeal mainly to auditory and visual sensations. If they didn’t, we would be glued to our phones until the show starts again. Therefore, attention is an essential facet of consumer behaviour.
A sub-division of attention is selective attention, which can be broken down into a two-step process. Briefly, the first step is referred to as bottom-up processing, which is a relatively automatic pre-attentive step. It has been acknowledged that the more salient the object, the greater the chances of noticing it; for example, the singing dogs is an immediate attention grabber. The second step is top-down processing which allows us to fully analyse and understand the information being presented; for example, going on an adventure in a Subaru vehicle.
They have our attention. So what is Subaru’s campaign trying to ‘do’?
The concept is designed to rebrand the company to the Australian public and appeal to their “active nature.” Andrew Caie, Subaru’s general manager of Marketing, highlights that “’Do’ is the ultimate verb and indicates a renewed focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience.” So over the next 12 months, Subaru has planned to release 31 short movies with the overarching and simple message ‘Do.’ That’s right, we’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more of Subaru in our everyday life.
Now that we briefly understand their intention, what strategy is being implemented to capture the public’s attention?
Targeting the customer’s needs is a key strategy within consumer behaviour and a commonly used theory is Maslow’s Hierarchy. In 1943, Maslow was interested in what motivates a person to attain desired needs. So how does Subaru’s campaign utilise this theory?
The first need fulfilled is safety. When focusing on purchasing a specific car, we definitely want it to be safe for us and our family. They demonstrate this in the first commercial when they choose to drive the car and how the dogs get to their final destination safely. Also, one of their short-films focuses on how their cars can avoid a crash. Since this basic need is fulfilled, how are the psychological needs being addressed?
The family spending and enjoying their time together targets the needs of belongingness and love, which could ultimately target the emotional experience of the audience. Creator of the campaign, Peter Buckley, reflects how they want to “appeal to people’s emotions.” By targeting emotions, it could potentially assist in obtaining new customers. Within the context of marketing, emotions play a role in decision making and developing connections with value and satisfaction. Referring back to the original advertisement, as the car drives past their neighbours, there is a sense of envy by the neighbour’s dog directed to its owner who doesn’t own a Subaru. You can see the dog thinking, I want to go on an adventure too! Therefore, the esteem needs are being fulfilled through the sense of accomplishment and the singing dogs acknowledging their prestige.
And finally, how is the tip of the pyramid being targeted? Well by the pure joy of being able to go to the beach! Targeting self-actualisation goes a little further, however, as the audience should be left feeling a sense of potential growth. Their campaign highlights that in order to grow and enjoy the important things in life, you should consider buying a Subaru.
Subaru have understood what could allow them to grow further within Australia. Possible customers have been addressed on a multitude of levels through their unique way of promoting cars. Thus, this attention grabbing campaign could benefit Subaru in the future.
As for us, it’ll be hard to say the word ‘do’ and not think of Subaru!
Nichola Stamatakos | 215234781