Subaru of America next week returns to network TV with an eight-spot effort, supported by as many print ads, that it is calling its largest advertising push to date.
Spending for the year-long campaign from Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas, will exceed the $62.5 million in measured media placed in 1996, according to client marketing director Tim Mahoney.
Actor Paul Hogan returns to promote Subaru's three 1998 Outback models, as well as the new Forester sport utility vehicle. Actor Judge Reinhold debuts as a pitchman for the Cherry Hill, N.J., client, with three spots plugging all-wheel drive technology.
All spots are 30 seconds. In one, slated for the heaviest rotation, Reinhold rolls out from underneath a car at a Volvo dealership to ask a hovering salesman, "So only one Volvo has all-wheel drive, but they all have cup holders?"
The spot touts all-wheel drive as standard on every Subaru model and continues using "The Beauty of All-Wheel Drive" positioning developed by Temerlin in 1994.
In other spots, Reinhold challenges BMW owners to races to showcase his Subaru's handling. The commercials will air throughout the fall season on ABC's 20/20 and cable TV venues including A&E, ESPN2 and The Discovery Channel.
Two spots for the Forester, a hybrid SUV/wagon, show Hogan and a sidekick named Sarah who abandons him to explore on her own in the vehicle. The tagline: "Sport-utility tough. Car easy."
Mahoney said the Forester is aimed primarily at women and young families. Ads will air on ABC family programming including Wonderful World of Disney. The Outback is showcased in two spots that echo previous work.
Eight print ads promoting different models will run in national periodicals including Time. Forester ads targeting women expand Subaru's reach into magazines like Martha Stewart Living and Cooking Light.