Are You a Dog Lover? Or Just a Sucker?

Subaru has done it again.

They’ve made another commercial in their Dog Tested, Dog Approved series. And this time, they take the sentimental approach instead of the silly.

I’m pretty cynical about marketing. And I don’t even own a car.

Honey the Golden Retriever loved riding in the Subaru

All those dogs in the commercials know what they’re woofing about. I loved riding in the Subaru.

But I have to admit, the advertisers and executives at Subaru who approved this campaign know their tribe. Did you know that twice as many Subaru owners have pets (70%) compared to any other car brand?

So on this day when businesses are manipulating Americans to buy as much as possible, whether they need it or not, how do you feel about this Subaru commercial?

Is it just cute and sweet? Would it influence you to buy a Subaru? Or do you dislike seeing something as precious as a long-lasting relationship with a dog used to shill hunks of metal?

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Comments

  1. I have a Subaru. I bought it years before they started these commercials. The reasons I chose a Subaru are many but the dog-factor played a not insignificant part. I didn’t know that stat about more Subaru owners having pets but I’m not surprised. They are good cars but I think most people who get them expect to get them dirty. I do know that they are extremely popular in these northern climes where driving in snow is a rite of passage.

    I’ve also been impressed with the company’s ethics from their manufacturing environmental policies to their charitable giving programs. One of the charities they donate to, among a handful of other excellent organizations, is the ASPCA.

    I consider myself a pretty cynical sort. However, I also feel a good way to get things done in this world is to support a company that tries to do the right thing. Is their motivation the bottom line or the bottom of their heart? I’m not sure it matters as long as the outcome is that good things get done.

    • I’m also a big Subaru fan.

      Its ability to travel well in the snow was a big deal to us. But I was amazed to find out how much we could haul in a tiny Impreza. People kept on telling me they needed a big SUV so they could take their dogs places and go camping. We found the tiny car held loads of camping gear, two dogs, two people, and kayaks on the roof with no problem.

      I wish it had gotten a little better gas mileage but that’s the price we paid for the all wheel drive.

      But I’m better off not watching their commercials. Everytime I hear “Love, it’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru.” I yell at the screen, “WTF are you talking about? That makes no sense.” :)

  2. Wow, I never even thought about commercials using animals that way! But, no this wouldnot influence my car buying…I’m all about the gas milage! (And I do care about environmental issues, too.)

    • I like to think I’m too smart to be influenced by ads but I’ve noticed a sneaky willingness to believe straightforward sounding claims without lots of bells and whistles.

      Something in my heads says, “why would they lie?”

      That’s why I try to limit my exposure to ads. I’m afraid if I weren’t so frugal, I’d be terribly gullible. :)

  3. No I don’t think it would influence our buying but I am sure they have researched it and feel some people would be persuaded. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  4. Hi Pamela,
    I believe this commercial has been out for 2 or 3 months now, and my husband and I both like it (of course we own both dogs and Subarus). Since it’s been around for awhile, I don’t really agree with evaluating this specific commercial in the context of the commercially-exploitative ‘Black Friday’; you’d have to do the same thing for every current commercial with a pet in it – and that would take too much time!
    So taking Black Friday out of the equation, this really comes down to a discussion about good/bad marketing. I think Subaru understands that – pet owners or not – most people with Subarus do have a ‘relationship’ with their cars in a very different way than most other car owners. In that sense, this definitely is good marketing, as Subaru’s ad execs hit the mark in choosing what to compare that owner-car relationship to – a long-lasting pet companion.
    Would the commercial influence us? My husband says ‘Heck no!’ – he knows what he wants in a car… it’s not just about image, specifications, or clever marketing. If a car doesn’t have what he wants, and he doesn’t enjoy driving it, he won’t buy it…

    • The downside of not having a tv is that I never see anything until it’s been around the block a few times and I find it online. Frankly, that’s probably a small price to pay… :)

      I’m just curious, Elizabeth. Do you think you’re husband is really that independent minded? Or is he just in denial? While he’s recovering my his injury, you might want to watch him carefully to see if the commercials on tv start having an effect on him. :)

  5. BTW – hope you had a nice Thanksgiving :)

  6. I don’t know….It could have been my Toyota 4-Runner in that commercial :) Cute ad but I don’t think it wouldn’t make me buy a Subaru. I like that they like dogs though :)

  7. Woo hoo! A commercial I have actually seen before! I admit to being a sucker as well. I still adore that Samsung commercial I posted a while back, just because it has a mixed breed dog doing tricks. Would it convince me to buy a Samsung phone? Maybe. Maybe this ad would work too if I was in the market for a new vehicle.

    I find it hard to resent the company for smart marketing, however. If anything, I try to take it as a sign that more people care about their pets than ever and consider them when making purchases. Which can only be a good thing

    • I’m wary of being marketed too. But you’re right, that capitalizing on people’s desires to consider their pets’ needs when making a bad purchase can be good for Subaru and good for pet families.

      The biggest reason we didn’t give up the car sooner was because of Honey. And, if I ever buy one again, dogs will be one of the biggest considerations.

  8. That commercial makes me tear up. I might be over-emotional, but seriously! I think it’s definitely a successful marketing gimic… apart from the fact that I could not for the life of me guess what the commercial was about until seeing the subaru schpiel through tears at the end.
    Frankly, not going to sell me any kind of car by putting a dog in it, but it does make me remember the brand, which could influence me a long ways down the road.

    • Yeah, I was a sucker for it too. Of course, a grey muzzle always softens my heart. And it’s much more appealing than a dual cam engine or whatever other jargon gets other people salivating.

  9. I love that ad, and I think it’s very well done. I didn’t know that statistic about Subaru pet owners, but it doesn’t surprise me. My husband keeps dreaming that we’ll get to review one for the blog one day! lol I don’t burst his bubble, I just smile and nod. It is on our list of dream cars, and it would be really handy for us. I have a feeling the dogs would approve, too! :)

  10. I do love the commercial but honestly I couldn’t have told you which auto brand it was for even after seeing it numerous times. Maybe because it’s blended in my head with the Iams(?) commercials from a few years ago that had a similar concept, maybe because I’m not in the market for a car, maybe because I’m not the ideal person to market to (I have a very sensitive BS meter). I do love the storyline though especially as I’ve been thinking more and more about how much older my pets have gotten to be.

  11. Well, we don’t have money to buy a car, and it would be too small anyway. (we buy used vans, trucks, we had an ambulance and now we have a bus)

    But as an example, I have to say I wanted Fido phone the moment I saw their commercials LOL That was a long time ago and I don’t have one for practical reasons but …

    Of course it’s not a smart way to shop but put a picture of a dog on something and I’ll have a hard time not getting it :-)

  12. I think I might be immune to commercials. Even when I watch one and I LOVE IT, I’m never like “Wow! I want that!”. I’m usually more impressed by the Marketing team. Do ad agencies have fan clubs? I could totally get behind that…