PR Tips from Carmichael Lynch’s Subaru Campaigns
Looking at good PR efforts, no matter who the practitioner, is always an excellent way to improve skills and enhance creative efforts. Let’s look at three ways Carmichael Lynch has built their campaigns for Subaru’s Outback, Crosstrek, and Forester recently.
Many different campaigns can benefit from Carmichael Lynch’s approach. Subaru owners often fall into the category of suburbanites with 2.5 kids, one or more pets, and passion for particular causes. The causes may vary from one owner to another, but putting together a list of several prominent charities to choose from should cover the inclinations of almost all buyers of their vehicles.
Subaru has long been known for the engineering of their vehicles allowing owners to switch to four-wheel drive while already on the road, making them especially popular for outdoor enthusiasts as well as people living in extreme climate locations. But in 2008, they began to transition their efforts to support a new concept for all their campaigns – it’s an encompassing theme of “Love.” Since then, they’ve had seven years where their sales have continued to break records.
Looking at their brand, they made the determination that Subaru owners and those wanting to own their vehicles loved three things in particular. They added “Subaru loves pets” to the initiative only recently. More than half of the owners of their autos also have one or more pets, so on Black Friday 2016, Subaru started a unique hashtag campaign encouraging their customers to spend the day outside with their dog instead of going to a shopping mall, the #OptOutside campaign. They also put their keys where their mouth is by providing a fleet of Outbacks and drivers to spend the day taking New York City shelter dogs for a day outside.
Subaru is doing more than using pets and kids in their ads, though that happens too. Again, they have set up a program showing they care about kids for more than marketing. They donated at least 1,700 award-winning science textbooks to New Jersey schools – 17 of them in the Camden area to be exact – Camden is where Subaru’s U.S. corporate offices are located. And their COO, Tom Doll, delivered the textbooks personally to the Catto Community School at a ceremony earlier in the year.
In June of this year, the “Subaru Loves to Care” plan began. This year’s efforts were targeted toward the cause of fighting cancer. Through their corporate efforts, combined with help from 393 dealers, Subaru worked with 54 LLS chapters in America to deliver 30,000 blankets to those undergoing cancer treatment. This impacted people in 250 local hospitals and national treatment centers for cancer. Another successful showing for their “Subaru Love” promise campaign.
What Can Be Learned
Finding two or three things such as pets, kids, and causes that matter to customers for a brand or organization translates to a way to connect the brand with consumers. Then looking for a way to give power and substance to that connection can build a bond so tight that you’ll have converted consumers to “family.” Subaru’s secret sauce for the last seven years has been that understanding.
Find what matters to your customers and build a campaign to get involved and allow them to join, and you’re likely to see a huge benefit for the effort. That’s what Carmichael Lynch has helped Subaru do quite successfully.