For the second year in a row, Carmichael Lynch took home a Media Plan of the Year Award, this time in the category of Best Use of Branded Content/Entertainment for our work with Subaru. The specific execution awarded was our partnership with Motor Trend and The Enthusiast Network’s most popular YouTube show, “Roadkill”. See the summary below:
Every Subaru shares the same DNA—DNA that has made the Outback and Forester leaders in their categories and that DNA has led to huge success for the STI on the rally circuit. But Subaru is not known for sedans so when it came to the 2015 Subaru Legacy, the DNA was there, but no one knew it.
On the surface, it looks like a lot of other cars in the segment, so we couldn’t tell people it was different. We had to find a way to prove it.
When it comes to showing something in the automotive world, no one does it better than Motor Trend and the team at The Enthusiast Network. “Roadkill,” their most popular YouTube show, routinely gets more than a million views on episodes that regularly exceed 30 minutes. That’s a highly engaged, highly influential, highly enthusiastic audience that—if we did it right—could give the Subaru Legacy the boost it needed.
If we did it wrong, well, this was an audience primed to sniff out anything inauthentic and ready to skewer on social networks. To ride with the “Roadkill” team, we had to be willing to take our foot off the brakes and our hands off the wheel.
What happened? Not every sentence was perfectly crafted. Not every shot of sheet metal was up to the brand guideline standards. And…people loved it.
Forty-seven minutes of pure branded content, highlighting the Legacy’s very real, very authentic chops. AutoBlog said it “was every bit as good or better than any automotive-themed show you could find on television.”
The audience agreed.
The episode generated more than 2.2 Million views, beating their expected episode viewership by 69%. It has received 16,000 YouTube thumbs-ups, a 96% positive sentiment rate, and extremely positive commentary from viewers, fans, and auto press alike—showing gratitude and respect for the brand’s involvement, and the Legacy’s strong performance.
The episode also spawned a wave of conversations across social networks—over 35,000 likes on Facebook alone—and even a brand-friendly thread on Reddit.
And if you can make Redditors happy with branded content, you know you’ve done it right.
At the end of the day, average monthly Legacy sales increased 72% from pre-launch levels.
Was it all because of a 47-minute YouTube episode? No, but this third party’s heavy influencers substantiated that the Subaru DNA is alive and well in the 2015 Subaru Legacy.
See the “Roadkill” episode here
Read the Adweek article here