The Subaru Campaign

By: Jason Moore

In a campaign that began online in July 10, Subaru is promoting the 2008 Impreza WRX by exuding the history, heritage and popular culture of its home country, Japan. With an estimated budget of $10 million, the campaign features 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."

A tale of a man from a futuristic city "in a land of forbidden secrets" -a line from the teaser trailer on the site - who is destined to become the master of a powerful jungle creature, the WRX, will be told on three commercials that made their debut on the Subaru Web site (subaru.com/legend). Also, consumers will be able to watch the spots on cell phones and television.

The headline of a print advertisement showing a dragon perched atop a mountain reads "Somewhere in the jungle, the legend is reborn". The intro of the text runs: "From the East it comes, conceived in thunder, born in lightning".

A story told in comic-book panels and dialogue balloons about a man named Hiro, whose food at a noodle shop is disturbed by the arrival of a WRX, is shown on other print ads. The ads have the line "Prepare to meet your destiny".

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, said that the men whose ages are from 20 to 34 are the intended audience for the WRX - which has features like all-wheel drive and a turbocharged engine. As such, they group of audience like what is coming from Asia and the ads epitomizes that.

He continued that such audience group was the kids who grew up playing video games and many of which were, of course, sold by Japanese companies such as Nintendo and Sony.

Subaru joins a list (that is continuously growing) of advertisers who are capitalizing on the rising interest in Japan among younger American consumers.

The three WRX commercials, each utilizing 30 seconds, are to become available online in three stages. The first two was in July 10 and July 17 while the third stage will be available on July 31.

The commercials are set to start running on television next month, during programs that will include coverage of the X Games on ESPN, wherein the WRX is the car sponsor of the games.

Though not affirmed by the manufacturer, we expect the Impreza WRX is equipped with more improved .

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