Advertising masters show, don’t tell

Unlike many others, I didn’t cry when I first saw Subaru’s new “Baby Driver” commercial. In fact, I almost jumped out of my seat and cheered.

Sure, I’m not a parent, but I’m not emotionless either. I’m just a big fan of good advertising.

In 30 seconds, Subaru confronts every parent’s fears and emotions they face when their children start driving—without talking about those fears and emotions. It’s pure “show.”

See for yourself:

3 keys to great advertising

“Baby Driver” hits three keys of advertising seemingly without effort, and that’s what makes it so great.

  1. Piques your interest immediately as the dad hands car keys to a little girl. You think, “Where is this going?” You want to keep watching to see why this man is letting this little girl drive.
  2. Appeals to the emotions most parents feel when their kids hit milestones such as—and especially—driving.
  3. Gives a strong message without telling, without preaching. And everyone, parent or not, can identify with it.

Authenticity rules

People talk a lot about being “authentic,” and Subaru shows they understand.

The man in the commercial, Andy Lyons, is the actual father of both girls you see onscreen. Even better, what he says comes straight from his heart.

As Kevin Mayer, director of marketing communications, Subaru of America, Inc., says, “When we found this family we threw out the script. We simply asked the dad, what would you tell your daughter before she pulled away? The dad took it from there and he was perfect.”

Another perfect choice was the car. Subaru owners are known to be loyal and pass along their cars. Hmm…what else is known as something passed down? I know—a legacy! How smart and subtle they are highlighting the Subaru Legacy.

A bonus is that they promote responsibility behind the wheel. No texting, no talking on the phone. Their message isn’t preachy. It comes from a dad who wants his daughter to be safe, to be okay. It comes from love.

Love. It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru.

So, do you love it too?


Carmichael Lynch produced this commercial. I didn’t want to force their name into the copy, but they do deserve credit for the Subaru spot.

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