Conceived In Thunder, Born From Lightning

Stuart Elliott of The New York Times looks at a distinctly Japanese approach to selling Subarus from Moon City Productions in New York City.

In a campaign that is scheduled to begin online today, Subaru will promote the 2008 Impreza WRX by invoking the history, heritage and popular culture of its home country, Japan. The campaign, with a budget estimated at $10 million, is infused with aspects of Japanese anime films and manga comics; movies like “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Blade Runner”; and television series like “Heroes.”
Three commercials that are to make their debut on the Subaru Web site ( will tell a tale of a man from a futuristic city “in a land of forbidden secrets” — to quote a line from the teaser trailer on the site — who is fated to become the master of a powerful jungle creature, i.e., the WRX. Consumers will also be able to watch the spots on cellphones as well as on television.
The men ages 20 to 34 who are the intended audience for the WRX — which has features like all-wheel drive and a turbocharged engine — “like what’s coming from Asia, and this epitomizes that,” said Timothy J. Mahoney, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Subaru of America in Cherry Hill, N.J., a division of Fuji Heavy Industries.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.