1960
Rabbit
1967

Built under the Fuji nameplate, the Rabbit S-1 started production in June, 1946, even pre-dating Vespa.

SUBARU 360

1968

America meets Subaru for the first time. The 360 is marketed as an inexpensive yet distinctive economy car. It’s available as a 2-door coupe, van, or truck.

Cheap and Ugly Ad
1970
1970

Applying reverse psychology to its marketing strategy, Subaru advertisers believe that identifying “The Subaru” (as the ad agency named it) as NOT a Volkswagen will attract Volkswagen customers.

Not Japanese Beetle Ad
INEXPENSIVE. AND BUILT TO STAY THAT WAY

With America pulling out of the recession, the Subaru tagline “The Economy Car for Today’s Economy” needs a refresh. The new campaign maintains the implicit positioning against Volkswagen and adds the durability theme.

1980
1980

Subaru introduces turbo-traction, the first 4WD turbo-charged Subaru, offered on the 1983 Turbo-Traction Station Wagon.

Turbo-Traction Ad
To Each His Own Ad
1983

Subaru becomes the first automobile company to offer optional 4WD in all models, including automatic transmission.

THE JUSTY

At $5,566, the Subaru Justy was the lowest-priced four-wheel drive car in America.

The Justy
We Built Our Reputation By Building A Better Car.

Subaru compares itself to Volvo, challenging its marketing brand position: “Volvo has built a reputation for surviving accidents. Subaru has built a reputation for avoiding them. Subaru Legacy — We built our reputation by building a better car.”

1990
What to drive

Subaru sets out to portray the brand as the right car for consumers, using witty and lengthy print ads that refer to the car as “nothing more than a machine.”

1992

When emerging luxury brands such as Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus enter the market, Subaru finds a different voice. Ad agency Wieden & Kennedy create ads that speak to an honest driving experience, statements like, “A car is a car. It won’t make you handsome, or prettier, or younger” and “A car is a machine. And may the best machine win”. The campaign inspires Randall Rothenberg’s book, Where the Suckers Moon.

The Truth
The Beauty of All-Wheel Drive

Subaru of America decides to focus on 4WD, thus inspiring the advertising campaign “The Beauty of All-Wheel Drive.” Three years later, Subaru is essentially known as the 4WD brand, and sales increase 16%.

2000
2000

Subaru of America debuts the ‘What Do I Know’ advertising campaign, featuring Martina Navratilova.

Martina Navratilova
DRIVEN BY WHAT’S INSIDE.

Subaru signs Lance Armstrong as its advertising spokesperson and launches the "Driven by What’s Inside” advertising campaign and tagline.

Think. Feel. Drive.

“Think” focuses on differentiating the brand from the perspective of what drivers and passengers need. “Feel” is about sensitivity to the ride and the environment. “Drive” is a focus on both the Subaru driving experience and the dedication to quality inside and out.

SHERYL CROW

2006-2007

Every Subaru TV commercial features the pop star’s hit song “Every Day Is a Winding Road.”

Sheryl Crow
It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru.

Under the new brand umbrella campaign, Subaru advertising focuses on product attributes as well as the brand’s core values of active driving, engineering excellence, environmentalism and safety.

LOVE CAMPAIGN

2008

“Love. It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru.™” Based on the strong emotional bond Subaru owners have with their vehicles, Subaru launches a new campaign. Two key research-based insights lead to the campaign. First, most consumers have heard of Subaru and believe it’s a good product, but 60% have no strong emotional opinion or attachment to the brand. Second, Subaru owners are known for their outspoken passion and love for the brand across all models around the country.

Love Campaign logo
2010

DOG TESTED.
DOG APPROVED.

2010

To encourage pet owners to drive its cars, Subaru goes to the dogs. Literally. Subaru rolls out its first of several “Dog Tested” commercials featuring two dog pals driving a Subaru SUV. The beloved campaign continues to this day with a family of dogs affectionately known as The Barkleys.

Dog Tested. Dog Approved.

BABY DRIVER

2011

Designed to position Subaru as the brand that will keep your first-time teen driver safe, this TV commercial leaves you reassured and a little misty-eyed. The ad is nominated for an Emmy.

Baby Driver
  • 1960s
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  • 1990s
  • 2000s
  • 2010s

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