Cannes Lions

National Make A Dog's Day

CARMICHAEL LYNCH, Minneapolis / SUBARU / 2022

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Love is Subaru’s longest-running brand campaign and the lens through which

every brand action passes. One of the things Subaru owners love the most? Their dogs. Subaru owners over-index significantly for dog ownership, with many of them having multiple dogs. Subaru has dedicated more than a little film over the years to these canine companions and since dogs have done so much for Subaru, it was high time Subaru did a little something for them too.


Each year, approximately 7.6 million animals enter shelters. Subaru has been a longtime supporter of the ASPCA and shelters nationwide to help do their part to change this statistic.

We established Oct. 22 as National #MakeADogsDay and invited the world to do something special for their dogs while focusing their efforts on the ultimate way to make a shelter dog’s day – finding them a forever home. To accomplish that goal – and continue to reinforce the connection between the brand and pets – we fostered activations with trusted partners, who in turn encouraged their engaged audiences to spring to action – all in the name of man’s best friend.


When it comes to dogs, Subaru has a long-standing commitment to pets. Subaru is the largest corporate donor to the ASPCA, donating over $28 million in just over a decade. The National #MakeADogs day campaign is supported by a month of action called “Subaru Loves Pets”, during which Subaru and its retailers host pet adoption events and supply drives, while also donating to their local shelters.

We knew that despite our commitment to the ASPCA, there were many dogs who were still in need and established National #MakeaDogsDay – to breakthrough to a broader audience and help even more pets find their forever home.


The heart of the idea was based in taking action and media needed to drive that response. We leaned into native consumer behaviors on social and digital platforms to highlight shelter dogs and the humans giving them a voice to promote the importance – and celebrate the joys – of pet adoption.

To make the distance between emotion and action as short as possible, we created thumb-stopping creative concentrated on inviting people to stop scrolling and take a minute to celebrate their dogs and rally dog-lovers to help dogs find their forever homes.

Partnering with leading Twitter influencer @WeRateDogs (9.1M followers) allowed campaign messaging to be shared through an authentic and trusted voice. Social micro-influencers (150k-725k followers) also shared their adoption experiences and a hashtag challenge with select TikTokers (300k – 2.4M followers) helped us seed content and populate the challenge page.


Subaru knows they can’t save every dog. But by using a pointed approach to engage dog lovers, dogs everywhere benefited with extra treats, longer walks, and more cuddles. Perhaps most importantly, underdogs in shelters were given a very strong boost to defy the odds and find their forever homes. Overall, the campaign increased Subaru’s share-of-voice and mentions by 75%, garnered 2.2B earned impressions from media and consumers – representing a nearly 150% increase over the baseline for Subaru.

Our TikTok hashtag challenge hit 2.9B views by the end of the first day, with 11.4M views of videos using the custom song. The Twitter First-View and promoted trend takeover dominated “the front page of the internet,” garnering nearly 100M impressions and 17M hashtag mentions.

But the most important number of all is 36,421 – the number of dog’s days made through adoption as a result of National Dog’s Day.

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