Subaru’s sexy sumos

Subaru is showing its sexy side with the help of some suds and a few sumo wrestlers in a national multi-platform campaign for its redesigned 2009 Subaru Forester.

The campaign strategy is to showcase Subaru’s Japanese heritage and highlight the Forester’s new styling, said Andrew Simon, senior vice-president, creative director, DDB Toronto, which developed the campaign.

The campaign includes TV, print, online, radio, direct marketing and in-store point-of-sale.

“Each piece does a different job, but overall people hopefully are going to walk away with the message that ‘Wow this really has everything that I love about Japanese engineering,’ ” he said.

A 60-second TV spot entitled, “Car Wash” opens with the new Subaru Forester driving into a car wash to the song “Fire in a Disco,” by Electric Six. In slow motion, a group of sumo wrestlers walk into frame with a hose and buckets of water. They start washing the car, but soon end up in a water fight. “Japanese SUV’s just got a little sexier,” says a voiceover. “Introducing the totally redesigned 2009 Subaru Forester.”

The direct mail piece, developed by Rapp Collins, mimics a package sent by a book publishing company. Inside, consumers find a letter from the publisher along with a copy of The Joy of Sexier—An intimate user’s guide to the 2009 Subaru Forester. The book features hand-drawn illustrations of the 2009 Forester, tips on how to make every drive a sensual experience, and a personalized bookmark.

Consumers can also learn about the Forester at, produced by Fuel in collaboration with Tribal DDB. They can also “photograph” a sexy sumo model as he demonstrates the vehicle’s attributes. The photos can be retouched on the site and submitted for a chance to win a Canon EOS Rebel, MacBook Air and a digital photography suite.

A banner ad presents users with a peephole and a flickering “Sexy” neon sign. When consumers roll over the peephole, the cover swings open and zooms in to reveal the new Subaru Forester. The copy reads: “What were you expecting? Introducing the completely redesigned 2009 Subaru Forester. Japanese SUV’s just got a little sexier. See it for yourself at”

Another appears to be covered in steam and moisture and users are encouraged to wipe the fog away to reveal a sumo wrestler posing with the Forester at a car wash.

“DDB had the ingenious idea to use sumo wrestlers to emphasis Japanese, and to showcase the Forester’s strength and aggressive new styling features that make the Forester a true SUV,” said Ted Lalka, vice-president, product planning and marketing, in a release. Radio spots should launch soon, and the campaign runs until the end of September. OMD handled the media buy.

Originally published in Marketing Magazine, May 2008

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1 Comment:

  1. BURAOT said...
    ang sexyyyy... nyahahahah!

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