Long a favorite of pet owners and dog lovers for its practical, utilitarian vehicles such as the Outback and Forester SUV, Subaru is appealing to a segment of its core demographic with its new series of “Puppy Bowl” ads that will air on Animal Planet during halftime of “The Big Game.” Although the forthcoming 2014 Subaru Forester is prominently featured in several of the spots, it’s debatable what the bigger stars of the show are, the car, or the characters.
Some of the ads feature a human figure, Grant Weber, a Subaru “canine sales associate” who’s job is to sell cars to dogs. The first ad has no dialogue, but simply shows Weber going over his sweater with a lint roller. The next ad, dubbed simply “Tailgate” shows the rear hatch of the 2014 Forester opening, revealing a heap of sausages, and two dogs facing the back of the car, overlooking their meaty bounty, set to the “2001: A Space Odyssey” theme music.
“Let’s Talk Financing” shows a dog negotiating with Weber, pushing the calculator back with a counter-offer. Finally, “On the Lot” shows a cat driving away in a blue 2014 Forester as Weber and a “customer” are out walking the lot. The ads end with the clever (or corny) tagline, “Once you sit in a Subaru, you stay.”
In addition to the warm fuzzy ads, Subaru is also launching a Facebook app including such features as a dog matchmaker, ask a dog, a dog driver’s license creator, and a “put your dog in a Subaru” feature.