Intense Subaru Ad Focuses Almost Entirely on One of Its Vehicles Horribly Wrecked in a Crash

But it's not all grim

Headshot of Tim Nudd

And speaking of Subaru, here's another new spot from Carmichael Lynch for the automaker, and it's a whole lot more sobering than that snogging-dogs one.

This one's about safety, and it boldly shows something you rarely see in car commercials—the twisted wreckage of what's left of one of the automaker's vehicles after a horrendous accident. The wrecked Subaru Outback here is not a prop—it's a real car that really got totaled. But the driver survived, and that's the point of the ad (directed by Lance Acord of Park Pictures). "They lived," the characters say—from the policeman at the crash site to the workers at the junkyard. "Subaru. Five 2014 IIHS top safety picks," says the on-screen copy at the end.

Extending the reality theme, a companion website features actual letters from Subaru owners explaining how the vehicles helped save their lives.

Safety spots almost always imply danger rather than graphically showing the effects of it. And indeed, it's a bold move to leave viewers pondering a pile of your own disfigured steel. What do you think—good move, or over the top?

Credits below.


Client: Subaru of America

Spot: "They Lived"

Agency: Carmichael Lynch

Chief Creative Officer: Dave Damman

Executive Creative Director: Randy Hughes

Writer, Associate Creative Director: Conn Newton

Art Director, Associate Creative Director: Michael Rogers

Head of Production: Joe Grundhoefer

Executive Producer: Brynn Hausmann

Business Manager: Vicki Oachs

Account Service Team: David Eiben, Krista Kelly, Kate Moret

Production Company: Park Pictures

Director: Lance Acord

Executive Producer: MaryAnn Marino

Line Producer: Aristides McGarry

Director of Photography: Lance Acord

Editing House: Whitehouse Post

Editor: Stephen Jess

Assistant Editor: Tim Quackenbush

Visual Effects: Steve Medin, Volt

Telecine: Sean Coleman, Company 3

Audio Mix, Sound Design: Carl White, BWN Music

"Clear Moment"

Composer: Miles Hankins, scoreAscore

Music Supervisor: Jonathan Hecht

On-camera talent: Tim Lane, Diane Luby Lane, Millie Lane, Charlie Burrows, Aaron Norwell, Frederick Lawrence, Stephen Taylor, Kevin Bowers

Voiceover Talent: Tim Lane, Justin Beere (announcer)

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.