Subaru Sees Impreza as Gateway to Young Buyers

Safety, reliability, all wheel drive could sell them on it

Subaru began airing commercials including “More,” shown, for the 2017 Impreza on national TV this month.

A puppy, a college-aged kid and the ability of a car to stop itself.

These are some of the images Subaru of America is using to reach millennials in its national ad campaign for the all-new 2017 Subaru Impreza. The company began airing three 60-second spots on national TV this month.

The campaign for the Impreza sedan and hatchback underpins Subaru’s goal of a 9 percent sales increase this calendar year and a ninth-straight year of record U.S. results. “Subaru is a much larger brand than the last time the Impreza launched four years ago,” said Alan Bethke, Subaru of America’s senior vice president of marketing.

He acknowledged the compact competes in a tough, high-volume segment filled to the brim with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Cruze.

“But Subaru still has opportunity for growth,” he said.

The fifth-generation model is significant for the automaker, Bethke said. It’s the first Impreza to be built in the U.S., and the first Subaru to use the company’s strategic flexible underpinning, called the Subaru Global Platform.

But he says the Impreza is important for another reason: “It’s a gateway to young shoppers,” Bethke told Automotive News. The 25-30 age group is the single largest for Impreza sales.

Core brand attributes such as safety, vehicle longevity and all-wheel drive are found in the Impreza campaign, Bethke said, noting that these “appeal to millennials.

“Getting these buyers when they’re young is a great way to keep them in the Subaru family,” he said. 

The TV spots, dubbed “More,” “Moving Out” and “Rewind,” are similar to previous Subaru spots in that they each have an emotional pull based around a vehicle. 

Subaru worked with Minneapolis-based agency Carmichael Lynch on the ads. 

“Our relationship started in 2007, which in ad years is quite a long time, but we’ve had a lot of consistency with them,” he said, adding that the campaigns have become more refined and advanced. 

The automaker also rolled out a content-driven site called, designed to feature owners of various Subaru models of different ages, lifestyles and backgrounds to provide a reference point for nonowners. Bethke believes millennials find third-party reviews important when making purchases, and they rely heavily on word-of-mouth. 

In addition to the website, #MeetAnOwner will have a social media presence on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, the automaker said. 

Sales of the Impreza, which began reaching dealers in late November, totaled 5,105 units in January in the U.S., a 17 percent increase from last year.


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