Subaru ran a marketing campaign that successfully marketed to the LGBT community. They became the first in the United States to target the LGBTQ community so regularly and publicly. The ads were very effective in attracting the LGBT community without alienating others and if you think about it that’s part of what makes a Subaru a Subaru. DIFFERENT!
What Can We Learn From This Campaign?
While it was important to include LGBTQ organizations, it wasn’t just about running ads to lesbians & gays. Subaru’s popularity was due to astute marketing that dared to speak to people instead of consumers.
From this we learn, speak to people directly. Focus your message, whether it’s to women, men, the gay consumer, or other subsets – by speaking to them for who they are not what they are. In layman’s language, Lifestyle marketing. A marketing strategy that positions the product or service to possess ideals, aspirations, and aesthetics that the target audience identifies with.
There are two sides of any marketing strategy to consider: internal and external. Subaru was doing what no one else in the automotive industry had dared to do from the outside. Naturally, some people objected to the movement and submitted mountains of hate mail, often from far-right religious groups. But that didn’t deter the campaign. Internally, It’s easy to simply run a few targeted ads to sell some cars, but for campaigns to really have conviction and resonate with the audience, the company must live and stand by its messaging.