Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Subaru Saved My Life Commercial needs an encore, and fast.

I think the Subaru "saved my life" commercial is every effective the first couple of times one sees the commercial. The piano music is effective and the taking of the shift knob also is effective in tugging at the heart strings.

What bothers me about this commercial is once I've seen it a couple of times, a natural progression occurs in which I kind of want to know more. If you're going to pull at my heartstrings, show me the truth, don't just tell it me.
Did the subaru driver fall asleep and hit a tree? If so, show the circumstance, even a still shot, of the car and the tree. If the person driving the subaru car whose life was saved perhaps was at fault because they fell asleep (because it was front end damage), then tell us to not drive when sleepy.

If the damage was caused by someone else who was drunk or fell asleep and crossed over the double line, tell us. If the person driving was trying to make a cell phone call or text message, and that caused the accident, TELL US.
How about Subaru save a few more lives by revealing how the accident happened, so others can prevent the accident from happening.
The Subaru "saved my life" commercial starts as a nostalgic, feel good commercial but after a few viewings ends up being kind of a creepy, narcissistic commercial because it's about a man and his car who selfishly keeps to himself what he or the other driver could have done to PREVENT the accident.
Suddenly the message becomes, it's ok to be stupid, as long as you drive a subaru and then buy another one after you crash the first one.
One more thing, the guy looks pretty healthy to me. I don't know if the time line of the totaled car varies from accident to accident, but in this instance, the driver had enough time to completely heal and then still visit his car before the car was put to rest. Lucky him.

There is an area of "commercials progression" that just doesn't exist, that would have helped this commercial. Should commercials slowly evolve? Show the initial version of the subaru commercial and tug at our heart strings, but then reveal more of the story in subsequent versions of the same commercial. If you hit a home run in your first at bat, what are you going to do your next time up, especially if you plan on showing the same commercial over and over.
The subaru saved my life commercial needs an encore, and quickly.

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Hank said...

I'm pretty sure you're overthinking it. Subaru isn't making a public service announcement, they're trying to sell a car. And to do that, the commercial needs to be simple, straightforward, and memorable, so that it hits a viewer and stays with them. People can't get bogged down by details, that's bad advertising.

Alessandro Machi said...

Hank, your premise is correct, the commercial does not come off as a preachy public service announcement, nor should it.

However, when a commercial makes a claim that a car "saved my life", and then repeats that claim by running that same commercial over and over, at some point the advertiser needs to authenticate the message, or risk viewers questioning the validity of the claim.

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