Carmichael Lynch put together a very bold and clever advertising campaign for Subaru, and it features a photograph that I took of my very own Subaru Outback after I ran it headlong into a boulder going 60 mph. I walked away relatively unscathed, but the car wasn’t so lucky.
This Subaru was 1 of 5 that I have thus far owned in my lifetime. The reasons why I walked away from the accident has much to do with my predilection. When I bought my first one it was for the All-Wheel-Drive and good gas mileage. I would later discover other positive attributes, along with the company’s attention to manufacturing efficiencies and the environment.
With the “Dear Subaru” campaign, Subaru is counting on there being more people like me who have a story to tell. It doesn’t have to be an accident like mine, but anything that demonstrates your affinity for driving their vehicles and the places they take you.
Carmichael Lynch and Subaru are pursuing a multi-channel marketing strategy with targeted ad buys in various publications, signage in dealerships, digital media, and I suspect some outdoor as well. The “Dear Subaru” imagery and messaging is all tailored to encourage conversation about the Subaru brand. People share their stories on the Web, but is so often the case conversations extend from online to offline as well as the reciprocal. It is a clever strategy, and I look forward to seeing how the campaign performs.
If you see one of the ads featuring my photo and story please tear it out, take a photo, or forwarded it to me online. I would appreciate it!
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The rash of recent earthquakes in Reno, Nevada reminds me of my own experience with this particular fault line. About three years ago, I was driving my brand new Subaru Outback up the canyon of Highway I-80 towards Truckee, California to go whitewater kayaking when an earthquake struck. I was moving along at about 70 mph just past the Floriston exit when a large boulder arced off of the steep hillside to my right, struck the adjoining lane, and quickly began tumbling towards me. It looked like something out of a cartoon, and my disbelief was only cut short by my sudden realization that I was going to die. In a split second I slammed on the brakes and immediately impacted with the boulder.
Anyone that has ever been in an accident knows when an air bag deploys it can be a lot like getting punched in the face. As I began to collect myself and determine whether I was severely injured or not my first thought was – I’m going to be hit from behind! Fortunately, the other cars behind me had been able to stop in time. The inside of the car smelled strongly of gun powder, the windshield was smashed, and the entire passenger side was caved in.
I got out of the car half expecting to not be able to stand, or for blood to suddenly start spurting forth from some area of my body, but I was fine. I nervously scanned the hillside wondering if any other boulders might suddenly decide to dislodge themselves but none came. I took note that my kayak was no longer on top of the car, not that I particularly cared at that moment, but my eyes soon fell upon it on the other side of the road. It had shot off the top of the car, careened across the oncoming lanes of traffic, and somehow managed not to cause another accident.
The police soon arrived, and the first comment I received was, “Boy, you are lucky to be alive.” The second thing they told me was that there had been an earthquake of a magnitude 5.0. I never felt it.
The section of I-80 between Reno and Truckee is a dangerous one for many reasons. As the area continues to experience more tremors, and even faces a potentially much larger earthquake, keep this story in mind if you are driving this section of road. There are a lot of exposed hillsides containing countless boulders that are precipitously placed for a quick fall, and trust me, you don’t want to hit one.