Research proved what was already clear—Subaru owners love pets. So much, in fact, they’re actually twice as likely to own a furry friend than other car owners. With this insight, we decided to create “Dog tested. Dog approved,” a long-running campaign meant to tug at the heartstrings and give a good laugh to pet owners and admirers.
Puppy Bowl Wins the Superbowl
Both Subaru and Animal Planet have a common goal to help animals feel safe, healthy, and loved. And after successfully combining forces in the past, Animal planet wanted Subaru as a partner for their Super Bowl counterprogramming—The Puppy Bowl. A program that features adoptable puppies as they play their own version of the big game. The 2018 broadcast became the second most popular Puppy Bowl to date, and drew attention to Subaru’s adoption initiative on social channels. All without spending millions to advertise in the actual game.
Buzzfeed Puppies Live
As the campaign grew and matured, we looked for new ways to create buzzworthy, sharable content that highlighted our message and also entertained. This led to media partnerships, which often led to first-ever executions and new engagement benchmarks. Our biggest success was with BuzzFeed when, instead of working to #MakeADogsDay, we focused solely on making a puppy’s day. Using Facebook Live, we did a live broadcast showcasing puppies doing fun puppy things, and having the best day ever. And tons of people responded in real time. It ended up being the biggest content success for BuzzFeed that year.
Overall, we created a platform that could sustain many initiatives, using Subaru’s love of pets to attract more people and tie back to the brand.