Baja Gets Big-Screen Premiere

Temerlin McClain bows its first spot for Subaru of America’s new Baja vehicle in movie theaters Friday.

The colorful, high-energy execution displays the versatility of the Baja by showing quick flashes of objects inside the cargo bed, including a harp, a jukebox and a bike. Special effects give the vehicle a three-dimensional feel.

“We wanted to create a sense about this vehicle that it was for everybody for whatever you want to use it for,” said Tony Balmer, Temerlin’s account director on the Subaru account. “That’s where the thought of fun came in because Baja has an attitude of being very youthful and active.”

The 30-second pre-movie spot will run through Sept. 26 in the NCN network’s 450 theaters in 65 U.S. markets. The same ad will appear on network and on cable TV in spot markets for six weeks.

“We are using cinema during the early stages of the launch to create a buzz [with] an almost movie trailer-like format to say it’s coming,” Balmer said.

Other automakers such as Nissan, Toyota and Mazda have also advertised their models on the big screen.

Mark Darling, Subaru’s vice president of marketing, said spending for the launch would be similar to what the Cherry Hill, N.J.-based company spent last year on the launch of the WRX, which was “in the $20 million range.” Subaru’s estimated 2002 advertising budget is $140 million, according to CMR.

To highlight the versatility of the Baja and stake Subaru’s claim on creating a unit with the functionality of a truck that drives like a car, Temerlin touts the hybrid as “The world’s first multiple-choice vehicle.” The tag resembles the one Temerlin conceived for the Subaru Legacy Outback as “The world’s first sport utility wagon,” which introduced a new category of hybrid vehicles in 1995.

The Baja ad is among those produced under Subaru’s “When you get it, you get it” theme, which the Irving, Texas, agency broke earlier this summer in a series of spots for the Forester and Outback models.

The campaign also includes print inserts in the September issues of Rolling Stone, Maxim and Shape. Radio and outdoor media will also be employed in selected markets, the agency said.

The Baja began arriving in dealer showrooms Sunday.