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Ad of the Day: Subaru's Road-Tripping Dogs Are Cute, Funny and Almost Human


Chances are you've already got an idea of what the typical Subaru owner looks like: They enjoy L.L. Bean, buying granola at Whole Foods and being very involved in their kid's soccer team. And they probably have a couple of big, slobbery dogs in the backseat.

Subaru is happily embracing that last stereotype with its new "Meet the Barkleys" campaign. The four 30-second spots (and website) follow the Subaru-loving Barkley clan as they deal with everyday situations from teenage dating dramas to family road trips to a dad getting chastised for paying a little too much attention to an attractive female. You know, stuff that everyone can relate to.

Oh, and did we mention the Barkleys are dogs?

Yes, Subaru is so dedicated to its canine passengers that it's been putting them behind the wheel for some time. And these aren't CGI-enhanced, cutesy talking animals—they're dogs that occasionally act like, well, dogs. (And can also drive.) In one spot, "What's the Fuss About?," the otherwise good-natured family suddenly experiences a barking attack while on the highway, which, it turns out, is because they've passed a mail truck. In "Road Trip Convenience Store," the group takes a detour to stop at a gas station, but rather than going inside to buy some Twizzlers, they go to the bathroom to take a nice, long drink from the toilet. And the object of Mr. Barkley's wandering eye in "In the Dog House"? A very well-groomed poodle.

The ads, from Carmichael Lynch and director Brian Lee Hughes of Skunk, aren't especially groundbreaking, but they have a sort of low-key humor that's hard not to find at least a bit appealing. Nor does it hurt that the dogs—especially the youngest Barkley, a squee-worthy Golden Retriever puppy—are straight-up adorable. And come on, who doesn't want to see a few more cute pups in their commercial breaks?

Client: Subaru of North America

Agency: Carmichael Lynch
Chief Creative Officer: Dave Damman
Exec Creative Director: Randy Hughes
Writer: Nick Nelson
Senior Art Director: Matt Pruett 
Director of Integrated Production: Joe Grundhoefer
Exec Content Producer: Freddie Richards
Senior Interactive Producer: Laura Coyle
Director of Business Affairs: Vicki Oachs
Account Service Team: David Eiben, Catherine Finn
Senior Project Manager: Jane Williams-Petersen

Production Company: SKUNK
Director: Brian Lee Hughes
Managing Partner/EP:  Matt Factor
Exec Producer: Shelly Townsend
Head of Production: Jeanne Stawiarski
Producer: Geoff McLean
Director of Photography: Jason McCormick

Edit House: Drive Thru
Editor: Mick Uzendoski
Exec Producer: Beth Wilson
VFX House/Online Artist: Drive Thru, Derek Johnson
Telecine: CO3, Sean Coleman
Audio Mix/Sound Design: BWN
Music Company: Echo Boys

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