- Subaru, which will sponsor Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl IX on February 3, has previewed new ads and Facebook apps geared at dog lovers.
- Subaru drivers are two times more likely than the average car owner to have a pet.
- The automaker is launching a series of Facebook applications geared toward dog lovers, including a Dog Matchmaker app that identifies the perfect Subaru model for the dog.
CHERRY HILL, New Jersey — Subaru, which will sponsor Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl IX on February 3 rather than join the crowd of automakers advertising during the 2013 Super Bowl, has previewed new commercials and Facebook apps geared at dog lovers.
The automaker has released four teasers that introduce viewers to Grant Weber, a Subaru "canine sales associate," who sells Subaru cars to dogs because not only are they "Dog Tested. Dog Approved," but "Once you sit in a Subaru, you'll stay."
One ad shows Weber with one of his new best friends — a lint roller, while another shows a dog playing hardball during price negotiation. Another emphasizes roominess thanks to a mound of meat products hiding in its tailgate, while another shows a rebellious cat driving off in the sales lot's last blue Subaru.
The "anti-Super Bowl" campaign route, which Subaru has followed for four years, resonates with its customers because according to their marketing research, Subaru drivers are two times more likely than the average car owner to have a pet.
To drive that home, Subaru is launching a series of Facebook applications geared toward furry-friend lovers. Dog Matchmaker, for instance, lets consumers enter the dog's breed, weight and lifestyle, and the matchmaker will identify a fitting Subaru model for the dog.
Ask a Dog — Live, encourages consumers to type in a question and Subaru's canine experts "will work hard to dig up the results."
The Four-Paw Drivers Club encourages a dog to become a four-legged Subaru enthusiast with a dog driver's license. Dog owners upload a photo of the pooch to personalize a dog driver's license. Or they can re-create some of the Puppy Bowl ads with the Put Your Dog in a Subaru app by uploading a picture that places the furry friend in the driver's seat to see where the road takes them.
Subaru points to its partnership with MapMyFitness to further show its love for dogs. The MapMyDogWalk mobile app allows dog lovers to track and store their daily walking routes in an online database. Users also have access to a searchable database of millions of routes across the globe, fitness calculators, dog event listings, and a dynamic social network of healthy and active individuals and their four-legged friends.
Edmunds says: Subaru is barking up the pet-owner tree and sitting out the Super Bowl again. Will it earn a treat with its Puppy Bowl marketing?