Subaru’s Call to Action
The Japanese car company, Subaru, is known for its safety and for manufacturing affordable family cars. In the 2020 Subaru commercial, The Subaru Commercial, “Moment of Silence,” viewers’ heartstrings are pulled as they see the universally understood feelings of grief and helplessness that car accidents cause. The ad opens with the scene of a totaled Subaru outback. A man in his 30s is standing in his driveway, assessing the damage of the car as he monologues about the series of events that led up to the crash.
The man states that out of the corner of his eye, he saw the car [illegally] driving over the median, and there was nothing he could have done to avoid the crash. The viewer sees the grill and hood of the car, which have crumbled severely. It seems this part of the vehicle that had sustained the most damage and taken the force of the crash. While this is happening, the camera pans on the teal car seat that is in the rear of the car, which appears to be undisturbed. The audience is suddenly troubled, wondering if the child survived the crash. Suddenly, the totaled car has vanished from the driveway, and a newer model of the vehicle in the same color has taken its place. This all happens as a toddler girl emerges from the open garage skipping. The audience is relieved. She exclaims, “Daddy!”
The man explains the turn of events. He says, “She is safe because of our first outback.” The audience now understands that a new one has replaced it. He then goes on to say, “…and our new one is even safer.” Then above the car, the words, “Subaru Outback is a 2020 IIHS Top Safety Pick+,” appear, and the voiceover announcer reads them aloud. The scene concludes as the Dad and his daughter proceed to wash the car together in their driveway.
Subaru’s ad is persuasive because it is about something that people can relate to, the concern about the mortality of our loved ones. It makes the viewer think about their car and whether or not it would keep themselves and their passengers safe in a crash. It shows that Americans value their families, their cars, and their peace of mind. It reminds the audience that as mortals, our lives could be ended in a second; however, with preventative measures like buying a safe car, we have a better chance at survival.
This commercial is emotional, to say the very least, as it manages to emulate rhetorical strategies, including Logos, Ethos, Pathos, Kairos, and Nostalgia. Logos explains the commercial’s message, which is that Subaru cars can and will keep you and your passengers safe when the unexpected occurs. Ethos is displayed in the ad, through the idea that Subaru is trustworthy- after all, it is a 2020 IIHS Top Safety Pick+. Kairos is evident in the commercial because it urges the viewer to take action; if you do not have a safe you, you should get one, because freak accidents can happen to anyone. Lastly, It evokes the nostalgic memories that many can relate to involving car seats and washing the car in the driveway.
Subaru was successful in its creation of this commercial. Short and sweet, they made their point and left a lasting impression on their audience, that Subaru is a brand that they can trust to ensure their livelihood and their loved ones.