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Subaru gets Sexy


It is always strange when you see new work from an old client especially when it is pretty good. It’s like seeing an old girlfriend who dumped you and all you want is to see her crushed and a mess without you but you find her well adjusted with a good looking guy. It just tweaks something inside that they are fine without you. Subaru is one of those ex-girlfriends for me as I spent a lot of years working on their advertising, did some great interactive work won a lot of awards and I was sad to see it go.

They launched a new campaign a little while ago called “Subaru get Sexy” that features Sumo wrestlers standing in bathing suit clad supermodels with the concept is that Subaru is making Japanese sexy again. The campaign in TV, print and online gets your attention for borderline teenage chuckle factor and it does make an impression. I say that knowing that I don’t have an objective opinion on this work because I look at it and know there is no way in hell they wold have bought off on that campaign four years ago when I was on the account so while the work isn’t earth shattering it is nice to see them taking some risks.

The interactive microsite for the campaign does the best job of paying off the concept and really brings the idea to life beyond the 30 second spot. The heart of the site let’s you get behind the camera at the photo shoot and take your own photos that you can then retouch, download and email. I like the way the camera interface works over the video of the Sumo posing as does a great job of re-creating the feeling of a photo shoot and the options after the shoot are really robust and start to border on the recent online version of Photoshop.

All in all it is good work and a strong step in the right direction for the brand. I only wish they would have been this open minded when I had the fun, big ideas that die on the cutting room floor.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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