Subaru didn’t always benefit from the recession-beating success it’s famous for today. In the ’90s, sales at Subaru were in the tank, and marketers in the company needed to do something different.
After identifying core teams interested in its vehicles, Subaru found something interested: lesbians, for whatever reason, cherished Subaru. For our edutainment,?Priceonomics has?detailed?the history of Subaru caring those lesbians back.
Aside from the internet trope that dictates at least one Mustang car owner must crash at each Cars and Coffee occasion, there can’t be a much stronger automotive typecast than lesbians loving Subarus. It’s a stereotype that may or may not have cajoled TTAC’s founder into comparing the grille of the B9 Tribeca with a certain part of the female physiology, and it certainly fueled a job-killing headline of some other TTAC E-I-C in the recent past. (I’m not really linking to it, but I’m sure you’ll find it yourself should you really must read it.)
Yet, sometimes stereotypes – especially when it comes to advertising to certain demographics – exist for a reason. In the case of Subaru, its director associated with advertising?Tim Bennett and?gay-market specialist ad agency?Mulryan/Nash transformed the automaker’s marketing message to build up wink-and-nod messages to the lesbian as well as gay communities after identifying groups of clients who skew toward Subaru.
In the 1990s, Subaru’s unique attribute was that the company more and more made all-wheel-drive standard on all its cars. Whenever Subaru marketers went searching for people willing to spend a premium for all-wheel-drive, these people identified four primary groups who were accountable for half of the company’s United states sales: teachers as well as educators, healthcare professionals, IT professionals, and “rugged individualists” (outdoorsy types). ?
Then they discovered a 5th: lesbians.
“When we did the research, all of us found pockets of the nation like Northampton, Massachusetts, as well as Portland, Oregon, where the head of the household would be a single person-and normally a women,” says Bennett. When Subaru marketers spoke with these customers, these people realized these women purchasing Subarus were lesbian.
Subaru crafted its marketing to identify with lesbian buyers?without?problem the sensibilities of conservatives.
However, it wasn’t a simple plan to put in movement.
The fascinating?story is detailed at Pricenomics. Trust me – it’s really worth a read.
h/t to Steve