Subaru’s New Ad Revisits Some Old Ones, and Shows Why the Campaign Works So Well

Nostalgia, and love, in a road trip down memory lane

Years into its ongoing and successful "Love" campaign, Subaru has been named Kelley Blue Book's 2016 Most Trusted Brand and Best Overall Brand. And to look ahead, it's looking back—at scenes from its most beloved Carmichael Lynch spots, in a warm commemorative message for the people who love it best … and maybe for some new drivers, too. 

"Proud to Earn Your Trust" kicks off with a throwback to "Subaru Heaven" (itself already nostalgic and heartfelt) but also features that glorious sunset shot from "Welcoming Party," as well as moments from "Baby Driver," "Honeymoon" and "Back Seat."

Its storyline explores the times when people especially appreciate having a Subaru—road trips, childhood benchmarks, even accidents. It warmly concludes, "Every Subaru is built to earn your trust … because we know what you're trusting us with," followed by closing copy that winks to the campaign's theme: "Love. It's what makes a Subaru a Subaru." 

Here's the :30:

And the meatier :60 in all its gooey glory:

"Over the past eight years, we've seen our Love campaign resonate incredibly well with consumers, who often feel a personal, emotional connection to the brand and the stories we've told," says Alan Bethke, svp of marketing at Subaru of America. 

"With this new spot, Subaru gives a nod to the past while continuing to move forward in earning and maintaining the trust of our owners." 

If the piece warms cockles and hearts, it's only partly because we can use it to relive the campaign moments that felt particularly powerful to us at the time. That will appeal to existing Subaru drivers, like TV shows that sign off with a nostalgic survey of every big moment you experienced with a beloved character. 

But it's also a powerful primer on why "Love" works so well. The new-car smell, sexy features and sense of open road are only the tingly surface aspects of buying a fresh set of wheels—what most car advertisers focus on. 

What Subaru knows, and has so craftily explored over time, is that when a car truly becomes part of your life—a trusty companion when alone, a reliable accomplice when with friends, a safe vessel for your family—it becomes unique, singular and painful to replace.

That small nuance might just be enough to talk a mulling prospect off a flash-in-the-pan cherry red convertible … and into a hardier (but heartier!) Forester. 

Catch the spot from now through September, across cable TV and network late-nights.