Cannes Lions

SUBARU FORESTER

DDB CANADA/TORONTO, Toronto / SUBARU / 2011

Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

To launch the 2011 Subaru Forester, we were determined to position it as the sexiest Japanese SUV on the market. So by mixing its Japanese heritage with pure, unapologetic sexiness, we decided to parody the classic pinup girls that normally adorn the hoods of muscle cars in hot rod magazines, only in this case, the pinups would be 400-lb sumo wrestlers.

Execution

The campaign kicked off with 60-second and 30-second executions, featuring a barrage of sultry sumos doing their best to steam up the screen in a variety of seductive poses and situations. This was supported by print executions that took their influence from classic pin-up girl posters from the 1940s. Another execution played a trick on the eye by making it appear that the sumos were naked on one page and revealing that they weren’t on the other.

Our lead sumo also appeared as a Sunshine Boy, Canada’s version of the UK’s page three girl. The copy in this execution led consumers to the Canadian International Auto Show. At this event, our lead sumo arrived in a limo and was hounded by orchestrated paparazzi. Consumers then had the chance to pose with the sumos in front of the Forester.

Outcome

The campaign was an immediate success clocking in over 1 million hits on YouTube in just over 4 weeks. It also became the #1 most viewed auto and vehicles ad in Canada and #5 worldwide. Coverage was widespread and diverse as it was featured on over 5000 websites and blogs a month after its launch.

Features in Canada’s Financial Post and Japan’s version of the Wall Street Journal both sang its praises. And as of now, the month of its launch has generated the highest sales in Subaru Canada’s history.

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