The Unlikely Star of Subaru’s New Ad Has a Magical Way of Seeing the World

Hiking guide in Carmichael Lynch spot is the real deal

Subaru of America

Sometimes, a special guide can help us experience life in deeper, unexpected ways.

Subaru of America takes that view in a “See the World,” a minute-long Outback spot from Carmichael Lynch. The story opens in a country store, where a young couple inquire about the location of a remote woodland trail.

“You won’t find that on a map,” says a bearded old man seated nearby. “I’ll take you there.”

A moment later, as he rises from his chair, the travelers realize they’re in for a very special ride.

George Wurtzel, a blind artist and woodworker, appears as the guide. He works at the Enchanted Hills Camp and Retreat in Napa, Calif., a facility that serves the blind and deaf community, and he really does take sighted people out on trails to give them a different take on the surroundings.

“Subaru and Carmichael Lynch have been big on being authentic with our stories, so it was important to find someone who wasn’t just acting the part,” says Brian Cavallucci, the automaker’s national advertising manager.

Fair enough. The setup feels a tad calculated, though, and cynics might decry Wurtzel as little more than a prop being used to yank heartstrings and sell cars.

Still, scenes of him urging his young charges to savor the aroma of their food, feel the wind and listen hard for echoes of whale-song resonate because he lives such moments in real life all the time.

A thoughtful script and the moody, muted direction of Park Pictures veteran Lance Acord keep things from getting schmaltzy, gently reminding viewers to open their eyes to new possibilities.

Client: Subaru of America
Senior Vice President, Marketing: Alan Bethke
National Advertising Manager: Brian Cavallucci
Integrated Media Specialist: Michelle Shoultes

Agency: Carmichael Lynch
Chief Creative Officer: Marty Senn
Executive Creative Director: Randy Hughes
Writer/Group Creative Director: Dean Buckhorn
Art Director/Creative Director: Brad Harrison
Head of Integrated Production: Joe Grundhoefer
Senior Executive Content Producer: Brynn Hausmann
Director of Business Affairs: Vicki Oachs
Talent Payment Specialist: Jennifer Knutson
Account Management Team: Brad Williams / Adam Craw / Caroline Rudzinski
Director of Brand Planning: Brenna Smithson
Product Information Specialists: Robert Ar / Jonathan Bush
Project Manager: Meredith Paul

Production Company: Park Pictures
Director / Director of Photography: Lance Acord
Executive Producer: Jackie Kelman Bisbee
Executive Producer: Justin Pollock
Head of Production: Anne Bobroff
Producer / Executive Producer: Caroline Kousidonis

Edit House: Work Editorial
Editor: Stewart Reeves
Assistant Editor: Leah Turner
Executive Producer: Marlo Baird
Producer: Marguerite Olivelle
Volt Studios, Steve Medin
Post Producer: Amanda Tibbits
Telecine: The Mill, Fergus McCall
Audio Mix: SisterBoss / Carl White
Sound Design: SisterBoss / Carl White
Post Production Audio Producer: Annie Sparrows

Music by Marmoset
Director of Music Production: Rob Dennler
Producers: Amanda Patterson / Tim Shrout / David Katz
Production Coordinator: Allison Soule
Written and Performed by: Brian Harvey

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.