Driving Safety: Subaru Highlights the Moment When "That Moment" Arrives:

New Ad Talks to Parents' Worries When Children Get Their First Driver's License


Real Life Father and Daughters Play Out Critical Moment When Teen First Takes the Wheel


Cherry Hill, N.J., August 4, 2010 – Subaru of America, Inc.'s new television ad titled, "Baby Driver", is tugging at the heartstrings of parents around the country. The spot speaks to the fears parents have for their first-time driver children and features a father handing over the car keys to his daughter as she sets off to drive alone for the first time. In a neat twist of life imitating art, the two girls in the ad are real-life sisters and the "dad" is the real-life father to both girls.

Baby Driver – the story:
The new television spot begins with a little girl aged six, sitting in the driver's seat of a Subaru Legacy with her father speaking to her through the passenger side window. She smiles patiently as her father gives her the "safety talk." As he hands her the keys, we realize that all along its been a 16-year-old waiting for her first ride alone who's Dad still sees her as his "little girl."

"Most parents dread that moment when their children first take the wheel alone. It's momentous," said Kevin Mayer, director of marketing communications, Subaru of America, Inc. "We talked about this with our agency, Carmichael Lynch and we loved the idea of building a story around that moment through the eyes of the father. The fact that "he bought his Subaru, because he knew this day was coming" further highlights the reasons that people buy Subarus – our top safety and reliability ratings. We also know that many of our owners "pass down" their Subarus to their children since they are so highly rated and we wanted to show that too."

Andy Lyons, who plays the concerned father is actually experiencing this moment in his own life. "As father to both the girls, portraying those complex emotions on-screen was not a stretch for me. Having my first daughter, Lanna reach driving age and knowing that my second, Georgie, will be there all too soon, I understand the anxiety of handing over the keys for the first time."

The spot also outlines the inherent safety of Subaru vehicles and in looking to authentically portray that "hand-over moment" the company felt fortunate in finding the Lyons family. "When we found this family we threw out the script," added Mayer. "We simply asked the dad, what would you tell your daughter before she pulled away? The dad took it from there and he was perfect."

The Subaru commercial comes at a time when Teen and Distracted driving issues are making headlines.
National Teen Driving statistics at rmiia.org show that:

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds.
  • 16-year-olds have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age.
  • 16-year-olds are three times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than the average of all drivers.
  • Drivers ages 15-20 accounted for 12-percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2008 and 14-percent of all drivers involved in police-reported crashes.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), teenage drivers have the highest crash risk per mile traveled, compared with drivers in other age groups. The problem is at its worst among 16 year-olds, whose driving experience is the limited and whose immaturity often results in risk-taking.

"Making the right vehicle choice for teens with both active and passive safety features can be critical in increasing their safety while on the road," states Mayer. "That ‘Moment' is a real worry to many parents and we hope that our spot gets people to think about what to look for when shopping for vehicles for teen drivers."

As well as being durable, dependable and fun-to-drive, Subaru vehicles are consistently named Top Safety Picks by IIHS. The company's focus on All-Wheel Drive technology is another strong safety feature that helps improve driver control.

"When it comes to safe vehicles, Subaru is at the top of the list and that's why we use their vehicles," said Meg Kramer, founder of StreetSafe Driving Academy. "We need training vehicles that have All-Wheel Drive technology, are safe, reliable and fuel efficient. Subaru fits every one of our criteria."

The spot can be seen at www.youtube.com/Subaru and was produced for Subaru of America Inc. by its AOR, Carmichael Lynch located in Minneapolis, Minn.

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

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