Carmichael Lynch Brings Back The Barkleys for Subaru

By Erik Oster 

Two years ago Carmichael Lynch employed advertising’s time-honored fallback strategy — “Just throw something together with dogs in it” — and introduced “The Barkleys” for Subaru. Now the agency is bringing back the dog family for a new campaign. 

In “Puppy,” the father of the family drives around in an effort to get a young puppy in the back seat to fall asleep. As he pulls into the driveway, however, the plan goes awry. The spot appears in a 60-second extended version online (above) but really doesn’t need the extra time to deliver its simple message. There are four other 30-second spots, which see the dog family struggling to use the voice navigation on a smartphone, dealing with a “Bad Hair Day” and “Windshield Wiper” situation and enjoying a night at a fancy restaurant (until the valet returns the car). The spots will air nationally in the coming weeks, including during Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XII on February 7, for which Subaru is the official auto sponsor. While there’s little fresh or new about the approach, people do love dogs, and data suggests that Subaru owners are more likely to be dog owners than most. The brand claims that over half of Subaru owners have a canine companion. 

“Since we introduced the lovable Barkleys to the world in 2013, consumers have been patiently waiting for the next round of creative to see where their journey would take them next,” Subaru of America vice president of marketing Alan Bethke told Adweek. “With the new ‘Dog Tested. Dog Approved’ campaign, we hope drivers everywhere will enjoy and relate to the latest escapades of the Barkley family, while seeing a bit of themselves along the way.”