I love to look at advertising and I think with cars, you’ll see that every country has a very different approach to marketing the product. In the United States, we like to showcase excitement more than anything. Our ads are heavily laden with power slides in the middle of deserts or crowded city centers and fake engine noises are added, to showcase the car’s performance (or lack thereof). Europe and Japan however, take a slightly different approach. I find that in both regions, elegance and style are at the forefront of most of their advertising campaigns. The contrast in marketing approaches, is a direct commentary on the types of people watching the advertisements, both socially and culturally. I wanted to take a look at some of Subaru’s Japanese advertisements for the Impreza over the years. Their commercials are quite different from our own for the same cars.
GC8 Impreza WRX (1994)
GDA Impreza WRX/STi (2001)
GRB Impreza STi (2008)
GVB Impreza STi (2010)
You can definitely see the change in marketing approach from the original WRX to the current STi. Their ads continue to showcase the car’s performance but sleek styling becomes the focus. The GRB ad especially reminds me of something from Europe. It comes as no surprise, as the Japanese are obsessed with European styling and that’s very apparent if you look at the current lineup of Imprezas. I don’t want to turn this into a lesson on ad design and marketing practices, but it is really interesting when you take a closer examination.