Subaru Documents the Toll Wildfires Have Taken on California in This New Spot for the Forester

The Japanese automaker announces a commitment to reforesting parts of the state in new spot

A fleet of Foresters will help reforest the West Coast. Subaru
Headshot of Mónica Marie Zorrilla


In 2014, Japanese automobile gargantuan Subaru relied on special effects and bizarre super-sized monsters from popular manga series Attack on Titan to advertise the company’s compact crossover five-door SUV, the Forester. Six years later, the automaker didn’t need to rely on fiction to showcase the Forester’s hardiness in the face of extreme situations. Instead, it relied on the real-life dread of California’s wildfires. 

In a new 60-second spot produced by Carmichael Lynch, Subaru’s longtime creative agency of record, devastating and dramatic footage flames engulfing the West Coast shot by photojournalist Stuart Palley portray the chaos of the ecological catastrophe, and the associated dangers of documenting them. The last work promoting the Forester produced by the the Minneapolis-based agency for Subaru was a series of three short vignettes—which also veer into the horror genre—showing sequences of parents imagining their children getting into grim car crashes in their Foresters but luckily, remaining unscathed. 

The latest Forester commercial, on the other hand, does not provide escapism from tragedy—but does offer hope. Palley, a Southern California native and a trained wildland firefighter, is seen driving and stepping out of his Subaru as the landscape around him is entirely ablaze. The terrifying visuals then cut to a Subaru Forester driving in the aftermath, announcing the Subaru Forester Re-Foresting Project initiative, which will use a fleet of Foresters to plant 125,000 trees per year through 2023. The project is kicking off this year through the broader Subaru Love Promise, a partnership between the automaker and the National Forest Foundation to help replant 500,000 new trees in the areas recently devastated by California wildfires. 

CLIENT:  SOA

Senior Vice President, Marketing: Alan Bethke

National Advertising Manager: Brian Cavallucci

Advertising Production Specialist – Brand: Kirsten Anderson

AGENCY:

Agency: Carmichael Lynch

Chief Creative Officer: Marty Senn

Executive Creative Director, Senior Partner: Randy Hughes

Writer/Group Creative Director: Dean Buckhorn

Art Director/Creative Director: Brad Harrison

Head of Production: Orlee Tatarka

Senior Executive Content Producer, Partner: Brynn Hausmann 

Senior Content Producer: Melissa Butts

Director of Business Affairs: Vicki Oachs

Talent Payments: Jennifer Knutson

Managing Director: Brad Williams

Account Director: Amy Jo Preisler

Account Supervisor: Kendra Komejan Young

Senior Project Manager: Danielle Kurtz

Executive Planning Director: Meagan Pagliara

Media: Jenn Kern, Betsy Burgeson, Megan McGrath

PRODUCTION:

Production Company: Storyform Inc.

Producer: Anke Thommen

Director: Dana Christiaansen

POST PRODUCTION:

Edit House: Final Cut NY

Editor: JD Smyth

Assistant Editor: Chris Rizzo 

Head of Production/Producer: Penny Ensley

EP: Sarah Roebuck

VFX House: Significant Others NY

Creative Director/Lead VFX Artist: Dirk Greene

VFX Artist: Nicholas Renaudeau

GFX/Motion Graphics Artist: Phil Brooks

VFX Producers: Alek Rost, Kyra Hendricks

Mix: Machine NY 

Sound Design/Audio Mix: T. Terressa Tate

Audio Assistant: Amanda Fuentes

Audio Producers: Alek Rost, Kyra Hendricks

Telecine: Color Collective 

Colorist: Mike Howell

Color Assistant: Alex Jimenez

Color EP: Claudia Guevara

MUSIC:

Track name and artist:  Subaru Forester Shift To Hope Machine, Writer(s) / Composer(s): Eleni Hassabis

 Music Company: Machine UK 

EP: Matej Oreskovic  

TALENT:

“2020 Re-Foresting”

On-Camera Talent: Stuart Palley

Voiceover Talent: Samantha Lemole


@monicroqueta monica.zorrilla@adweek.com Mónica is a breaking news reporter at Adweek.