Posted by / Wednesday, April 10, 2013 / 29 Comments / , ,

Subaru Forester Family Rally TV Commercial

Buckle up and hold on tight! To demonstrate that the all-new 2014 Subaru Forester puts the sport back in SUV, creative ad agency DDB Toronto created the Forester Family Rally. In a nutshell, they put families in a Forester on a rally course.

Toronto, April 10, 2013 - Subaru Forester Campaign Puts Real Families in the Driver’s Seat
Subaru Canada is inspiring families to experience the adventure and adrenaline of rally racing with the launch of its new 2014 Forester campaign, “Forester Family Rally.” Developed by the integrated groups of DDB Canada’s Toronto office, the comprehensive national campaign kicks off with the 30-second television spot, “Family Rally.”

Playing host to an organized rally event, the agency challenged six families to “hit the road” on a closed track, in the performance-driven Forester. The TV spot follows one of the six families conquering the mountainous terrain. It captures natural bursts of excitement as the family of four cheers on their mother with every twist and turn. The ad highlights some of the Forester’s new features like the X-MODE™, which sees the mother safely navigating the vehicle through challenging terrain with a swift push of a button. The spot drives viewers to visit for a closer look at the new 2014 Forester, highlights from the other participating families’ rally runs and to enter a contest for the chance to compete in Subaru’s next family rally.

“With the new Forester launch, we wanted to pay tribute to Subaru's rich history and renowned reputation in rally racing” says Todd Mackie, creative director, DDB Canada. “By capturing the driving experience of real families on a rally track, we were able to depict the fun and adventurous spirit of the Forester, while demonstrating its high performance and handling.”

Via the “Forester Family Rally” hub, developed by Tribal DDB Toronto, users can watch each family’s rally run, switching camera angles for a closer look at the action, monitor each family member’s heart rates as their Forester goes through each turn of the track, view post-race interviews and check-out the results. For the truly adventurous, users can either book a test drive or register for a chance to compete in the next Forester Family Rally event via the microsite.

In August 2013, Subaru Canada will fly five qualifying families to Tremblant, Quebec for an action-packed, rally-themed competition. “ Developed by DDB Public Relations, the Forester Family Rally experience will kick off with adventure-themed competitions, including: rock climbing, go-karting and paddle boat racing, followed by a climatic performance family rally event on a closed course. Families will collect points over two days, with the winning family taking home a brand new 2014 Forester.

“The new 2014 Forester really puts the ‘sport’ back in SUV,” says Geoff Craig, director of marketing, Subaru Canada. “The campaign cleverly proves how everyday drivers can tackle a variety of terrains with confidence, reinforcing how the Forester is different from other compact SUVs, with its all-wheel-drive and superior road handling capabilities.”

Pre-roll, print, digital, social, public relations, radio, direct mail and in-dealership marketing round out this integrated campaign by driving traffic to the Forester Family Rally hub. Each program element contributes to create excitement and conversation surrounding the 2014 Subaru Forester, while encouraging families across Canada to qualify for the next Forester Family Rally event, taking place in August 2013.

Client: Subaru Canada Inc.
Agency: DDB Canada, Toronto
Creative Director: Todd Mackie, Denise Rossetto Al
Associate Creative Director:
Copywriter: Allan Topol, Mark Biernacki
Art Director: Pete Ross
Agency Producer: Andrew Schulze
Account Team: Michael Davidson, SVP, Business Unit Director; Peter Brough, Account Director; Julia Morris,
Senior Account Executive; Lindy Scott, Account Coordinator
French Partners: Groupe Rinaldi: Jean-Charles Bullot, Creative; Maurice Rinaldi, President;
Tanya Fouleman, Account Executive
Strategy: Tony Johnstone, SVP Director of Strategic Planning; Sandra Moretti, Senior Strategist;
Kevin McHugh, Strategist
Social Media Strategy: Melissa Smich, Senior Cultivator; Ed Lee, Director, Social Media
Media: OMD: Michelle Jairam, Client Communication Director; Jennifer Thompson, Group Director of Strategy
Event Management: Vehicle Dynamics Group
Production Company: OPC & Family Style
Director: Chris Woods & GoodDearGood
Director of Photography: James Gardner
Line Producer: Oliver van Beek
Post-Production Company: Posterboy Edit
Editor: Mark Paiva & Danica Pardo (Pre Roll)
Online Editor: Axyz – Joel Saunders
Colourist: Alter Ego – Wade Odlum
Audio House: Grayson Matthews
Casting Agency: Jigsaw Casting – Shasta Lutz
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  1. Hi I am curious as to where the commercial was filmed, thank you!

    1. It was filmed in the sea to sky country, I believe mamquam road in Squamish.

  2. What could be better then a white knuckle Family Rally?! WhooHoo~

    How about another tragic accident caused by excessive speed and careless driving because someone thought they could hammer it ON A WINDY WOODED ROAD WITH KIDS IN THE BACK. Are you mental?

    I then clicked the Subaru link to see more deranged families. The ONLY actual danger is that you might fall asleep if you watch their dull, failed effort to replicate TOP GEAR's "Celebrity Lap" + STIG clone. Instead of the excitement as promised, you get average families driving along an average road and back again. What fun. Someone knows how to be entertaining because they even attached heart monitors to the occupants. Hilarious.

    So to recap:
    - Promote dangerous driving in the ad by mixing family + rally pro footage.
    - Bore you to death with the actual sluggish promotion.

    Great strategy and execution DDB / Subaru Canada... raises for all.


  3. I can't believe that a car company,Subaru in this case, would pay an advertising company (DDB) to create such a MORONIC commercial. To be honest, I couldn't believe this when I first saw it.....two children buckled in the back seats while their mother speeds along a hilly, winding, mud/wet road next to a ravine! Nothing like putting your family at risk.....what common-sensed, caring, intelligent parents would even consider such a STUPID act. You people must think the public are brainless to be bought into such a immature, DANGEROUS stunt.

  4. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on event staffingIf possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

  5. This comment came via email by reader Wendy *&^%$

    Are guys nuts?? You do realize there are people out there who don't think intelligently for themselves who will take this as a suggestion - hey, what a great idea! Lets get the kids helmets and go out into the woods far, far away from medical help and drive like a bunch of stupid rednecks with our kids n the vehicle!? ???????

    Are these families checked for proper life & health insurance to support the surviving members when this all goes awry?
    You should show in your ad that they are driving vehicles with extra roll cages installed at the least, but this does not appear to be the case!
    Where are child protective services of Squamish?????

    Classy way to support families!


  6. Personally I think some of us are over reacting to this ad, and that is just my opinion.

    The road this was filmed on looks much like the road we take to our favorite summer getaway north of Toronto. I don't see children or the parents driving bouncing about in the vehicle or the vehicle being driven in a dangerous manner....can't we just enjoy it for what it is.

  7. Does anybody else find this ad retarded ! Kids strapped in ! Parents laughing their heads off. Who had this bright idea ?

  8. Obviously, the ad was edited to make it appear as if the family in the ill-fitting helmets was ramming down the road on the brink of control. If you watch the background in video segments of the family in the car, you'll see slow moving trees and no evidence of any curves being taken at the limit of adhesion (the woman with one hand on the wheel, as she covers her mouth with the other, may be her imitation of Danica Patrick). In cuts with the car moving fast, one cannot discern anything about the driver, let alone occupants. Read the fineprint.

    I'd like to see the ad redone but with Toonces the cat shown at the wheel . . .

  9. This commercial bothers me, what a joke! This car can't possibly be going more than thirty or forty miles an hour. How exciting! When I was that age I'd have had my 66 Meteor running at sixty to eighty miles an hour minimum on a nice straight smooth piece of dirt road like the one in the commercial. People are such sissies today when it comes to taking chances and having a little old fashioned fun. If you live long enough you'll die, have a little fun before you do for crying out loud. Anyone who grew up driving forest or country dirt roads (after they'd been oiled) must laugh at what we see in this commercial, and how the driver thinks she's being so bad in getting away with such a terrific speed. Try it with a two and a half ton car, drum brakes, standard steering and no seat belts, triple the speed and put a police cruise behind it and let's see how bad she thinks she is then?

    1. Your comment is fine and yes, as young people most of us have done foolish things, BUT LEAVE CHILDREN OUT OF THE EQUATION! Would you put two children in your 66 Meteor just described above? I don't (hope) think so.

    2. Well, no, not if I wasn't drunk - but why would the cops be chasing me if I wasn't? Hardly ever spilt my drink, though. I'd get the kids to lay low, to sorta keep the center of gravity lower. Plus, they'd be less likely to fall out the windows on a drifting turn. Safety first!

    3. I agree with anonomous, people are sissys these days. I imaging they were so excited because they were never on a dirt road before.What a neanderthal experience! Way wilder than parking at the mall.

  10. I wouldn't worry too much about the children, or anyone else travelling in that car. It's only going about sixty kilometers an hour, and in perfect safety despite the helmets and coveralls.

  11. Why does the car in this commercial look like a 1984 Hyundai Pony?

  12. This is,the text of an email I sent directly to Subaru Canada on April 27th Also their response

    Comments: Have you gone mad. Have you decided to ruin your brand image in Canada completely. A recent TV ad shows a mother in rally gear with two kids strapped in the back of a Forrester. This is totally irresponsible. You need to terminate the Ad Agency who put you up to this and also fire the childish VP of Marketing that approved it. Perhaps the next ad in the series should show the parents driving to the court house (in their Rally outfits) to hear the judge place their children in protective foster care. Someone needs to grow up. You are not selling video games

    Response: We appreciate your communication in regards to our recent advertisement.

    Subaru Canada sometimes uses humour to reach Canadian Consumers. Our aim is to find new and interesting methods of advertising. Our intensions were not meant to cause the reaction you felt when viewing the advertisement.

    Please be assured your comments are considered very seriously by Subaru Canada and have been forwarded to our Marketing Department. While we cannot confirm that the advertising will be changed as a direct result of your comments, we can confirm the sensitivities and concerns communicated by Canadian Consumers will be taken into consideration for future ads.
    Thank you again for taking the time to communicate with Subaru Canada.

    1. I sent a negative comment regarding their ad directly to Subaru Canada with a link to this website and received the SAME, word for word, response as you did (Anonymous May 10, 2013, 9:39 p.m).Obviously a generic response for all the complaints they have received. I responsed back to them by saying I didn't find "humour" in strapping two children in the back of a car and racing down a dirt road. To the comments on this site stating the car is not moving fast.....that is not the point....the ad gives the illusion the car is "racing". Even if I was in the market to purchase a new or used vehicle, I would not remotely consider Subaru!

    2. Me too. But I'm crazy 'bout a Mercury.

  13. I used to live on this road in Ring Creek. (I recognized it in the commercial) There were a number of occassions when we came across a vehicle that had driven off the side (road is on mountainside with one side a steep drop). Most of the corners are blind corners and the road narrow. I hope no one decides to drive the this road in such a wild manner - not only could they drive off the side of the road but they could also cause a head on collision. Not to mention colliding with wildlife. The only place such driving should be permitted is on a controlled tract!

  14. I think this is an incredibly irresponsible commercial promoting driving with children in this manner. I live in a rural area and know how deer and moose wander across roadways at their leisure. Seeing this family zipping around blind curves with little regard for their safety is shocking. I would trust should the police see someone driving in such a manner that fines would be issued. Wow. Not sure why Subaru chose to plant the idea of stupid driving into the minds of gullible people. I can see it now "well officer I thought it was okay...I saw it on TV' oye

  15. I hope sales drop dramatically on the Forester or any Subaru product.

  16. In all car commercials that are on TV today this ad takes the 1st prize as being the most irresponsible ad towards safety of children, and anyone driving on a bush road. Where on earth would somebody drive a vehicle with crash helmets on with their family racing down a logging road? This ad just clarifies the thought process that the marketing agents have put into the ad, and the persons responsible for signing off on such a morbid ad campaign. Having considered this company's vehicle in the past, but now it would be the last choice.

  17. This commercial puts a knot in my stomach every time I see it. Each view, for me, whispers in my ear "Don't ever buy a Subaru." I have driven in many rallys and would never take my kids on one, and I never took my eyes off the road lke this driver does.

  18. I don't like the family rally ad at all. While I understand the spirit of it, it looks irresponsible to me. Parents look like they are having the most fun while kids do not.

  19. I've hated this commercial for Subaru from the first moment I saw it. It is completely irresponsible on Subaru's part to show a Mother driving like a maniac
    with the Father's approval as 2 children sit in the back seat taking it all in. I realize that nobody in the commercial is probably in any real danger but it gives the illusion that it's o.k. to a younger generation to drive like this. Really, really, bad advertising!!!

  20. ARE YOU CRAZY?????????? This is the stupidest insane add designed to kill people that I have every seen. A deranged mother driving like a crazy person with her 2 kids in the back seat. She obviously is on something, and also is trying to do away with her family. What a great example for people watching this, who cannot think for themselves!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Very good and helpful info you given here.

  22. Hey! THe new ads are even better! Stundt drivin in the dessert! With Duelling Banjos playin! Woo HOO!
    A crash or too would be cool though - and maybe a jump over some cactusses or camels (good ol boys never doin no harm) and a stars n bars roof flag! Yeah, Subaru's got the stars!


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