Given how crowded the small-SUV/crossover market is, one might expect Subaru to have shied away from introducing a new such vehicle, the XV Crosstrek, in 2012. To make sure that its vehicle came across as ideal for young, energetic consumers, Subaru insisted on an equally energetic campaign.
TBS and digital production company DumbDumb teamed up to create and distribute a digital short film, “Call It a Wash,” starring actors from two series popular with the target market: Breaking Bad’s Jonathan Banks and Malcolm in the Middle’s Christopher Masterson. The humorous video, in which a young woman’s father and her boyfriend vie for dominance as the alpha male in her life while at a car wash, debuted exclusively on TBS.com
Promos, teasers, and other spots during TBS programming, in particular its top-rated reruns of The Big Bang Theory, drove viewers to the short, as did media placements on other TBS websites, including CNN Entertainment, AdultSwim.com, and TeamCoco.com. The video was also promoted on TBS’s Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter feeds; Masterson and Jason Bateman, one of the founders of DumbDumb, posted on Twitter about it as well.
The 3.6 million Turner digital impressions led to 3.2 million views of the video on TBS.com. Social chatter generated an additional 47,000 YouTube views; the TV spots reached 31.8 million viewers, generating 92 million impressions. And on user-generated online aggregator Reddit, a site huge with young adults, a community vote resulted in the video being placed on the home page, allowing Subaru to stake its own claim for dominance.