One Subaru ad featured a car with a license plate reading "Xena lvr," while another read, "Get Out. And Stay Out. Tired of hearing jokes about lesbians who love their Subarus? Blame Subaru. In the s, Subaru identified four groups of people willing to pay premium for the all-wheel-drive cars: teachers and educators, healthcare professionals, IT professionals and "rugged individualists" outdoorsy types. Then Subaru discovered a fifth: lesbians.
Priceonomics spoke to Tim Bennett, who worked as Director of Advertising for Subaru, about the discovery:. When Subaru marketers talked to these customers, they realized these women buying Subarus were lesbian.
The marketers found that lesbian Subaru owners liked that the cars were good for outdoor trips, and that they were good for hauling stuff without being as large as a truck or SUV. In a line some women may not like as much, marketers also said Subaru's dependability was a good fit for lesbians since they didn't have a man who could fix car problems.
So Subaru targeted those women with ads containing coded messages that would be a hit with the gay community but would likely be missed by straight people. For instance, one ad featured a Subaru with a license plate reading "Xena lvr. Remember, these were the '90s, back when gay causes seemed to be on the losing side of the culture war, as the article points out.
So Subaru continued to use taglines with double meanings:. And Stay Out" could refer to exploring the outdoors in a Subaru--or coming out as gay. As Subaru continued to target niche markets, including gay women, its bet paid off, transforming the company's flat sales into steady growth.
Six Automobile Brands Which Target the Gay Community
And while Priceonomics notes that Subaru wasn't the first company to create ads for gay consumers, it was the first large company in America to do so transparently and consistently. Read the whole story here. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. All rights reserved About Us. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.
Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Ad Choices.The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. This article was published more than 2 years ago. Some information in it may no longer be current. This year, Subaru Canada is blowing the candles out on 40 years in business. Defined by the rugged, all-wheel-drive nature of their products, Subaru has expanded from a niche company to become an established marque.
And to think it all sprang from an unusual customer request in northern Japan. You can trace the roots of Subaru success to a handful of hastily cobbled together station wagons, with parts borrowed from Datsuns, in a rural outpost in northern Japan.
Along with Mitsubishi, Nakajima produced fighters and bombers, and was broken into smaller companies after the war. One, Fuji Kogyo, began building the Fuji Rabbit scooter inessentially out of leftover aircraft parts.
The Rabbit was first brought to Canada in the late s by Malcolm Bricklin, a name some Canadian car fans will no doubt recognize. Bricklin, who would later found his own company and start building the gull-winged SV-1 in New Brunswick, obviously saw a coming potential.
By the time Rabbits started popping up in San Francisco and elsewhere, Fuji Kogyo had been allowed to merge with five other companies to form Fuji Heavy Industries. Kita also gave his fledgling car company a name, picking out the Japanese word for the six-star Pleiades constellation, and ensuring that Subaru badges still have six stars today.
The P-1 was plagued by issues and only 20 were eventually built. The Cavett fleet includes a couple of modern Subarus, including a pristine 2.
Where the was a kei -class car, and thus restricted in displacement and power to fit through certain Japanese tax loopholes, Subaru wanted the FF-1 to be a proper family car. From their aircraft-building history, they adopted the idea of an engine with horizontally opposed pistons, and the Subaru boxer engine was born.
In an effort to improve cabin space and traction, a front-wheel-drive layout was chosen, a first for the Japanese market. FWD traction made the popular in the snowier areas of Japan. When combined with a useful wagon variant, the practical nature of the surefooted little Subaru brought it to the attention of the Tohoku power company in Ordinarily, Tohoku used Land Cruisers or other Jeep-like vehicles to dispatch linemen to work on their power lines, but these were pretty agricultural and wearying to drive on the road.
Their proposal: could the local Subaru dealership figure out how to make an all-wheel-drive version of the wagon? At the time, Nissan had acquired a per-cent controlling stake in Subaru, which meant the Miyagi prefecture Subaru could order in parts. By cobbling together drivetrain bits from a rear-drive Blue Bird badged as a Datsun in North Americaand slightly raising the ride height, about eight custom wagons were made.
They may properly be considered the first Subaru Outbacks. Subaru executives loved the idea and even showed off one of the prototypes at the Tokyo Motor Show in InSubaru Auto Canada Ltd.
This first Subaru sold in Canada was a DL four-door sedan.A hefty price tag, out-there Giugiaro styling from a small brand known mostly for boxy and conservative cars, a debut during the middle of a recession, and no option of a manual transmission on what was billed as a sports car Might as well highlight one of my favorite weirdo car obsessions of all time, the Subaru SVX.
It was developed during the tail end of the Japanese bubble economywhich produced a ton of bizarre and expensive and luxurious and powerful cars—but it hit dealer lots right as a global recession sent all of that down the toilet.
The one-minute spot is a case of telling instead of showing, and telling way too much. And by the way, moaning about gas prices, traffic and police on the highways is hardly the way to sell a sports car. It reminds me of most luxury car commercials from the s; this one just as easily could have come from Lexus, Infiniti or anyone else back then. This recent article in Priceonomics goes into how that happened:. What worked were winks and nudges.
Many ads had taglines with double meanings. They like deciphering it. Embracing is strengths—and the people who bought its cars—certainly helped with that. The expensive, automatic-only, bizarre looking sports car? Not so much. I loved my SVX. Fast enough, and a very comfortable highway cruiser.
I only got pulled over in it once and not for speeding. The cop gave me his card and told me to call him if I ever wanted to sell it I did call him, but he was no longer with the department. I can confirm that four adults will fit in it. In my brother was on tour with Cinderella as their sound guy. When they came to Cincy I went over to pick my brother up when he had some time off. When I took him back I went into the venue to meet the band.
They wanted to go to the local mall. The A. Patrick George. Filed to: Classic Ad Watch. Open kinja-labs. Patrick George Posts Email Twitter. Share This Story. Get our newsletter Subscribe. Iran Blows Up Gigantic U.All rights reserved. Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from our online archives. Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
Clark St. About WCMG. He used coping mechanisms and group therapy through CVT. The next speaker was Victor Madrigal-Borloz. Before he spoke, a brief video played showing the mandate for his job as the UN independent expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
He spoke about his job experience examining causes of discrimination and explained how discrimination often begins with society's expectations from the roles of men and women. In six of them, it is applied as part of the routine. In other contexts, the penalty can be as long as 25 years in jail.
He went on to discuss how beyond criminalization, pathologization and demonization of homosexality are two other factors that create the notion of otherness. He said that some governments are using the virus as an excuse to pass measures of persecution against them. The next speaker was Paul Orieny, the senior clinical advisor for mental health who helps oversee care for survivors at CVT in Nairobi. He spoke about how the different kinds of care provided to survivors of persecution and how it helps them.
We also talk a lot about personal security and our clients want to and have the right to express themselves, but the community is not very welcoming. Taiwa explained the work of peer facilitators in CVT, and how they provide access to services that enhance coping skills for victims and create a sense of community.
But peer facilitators are a powerful example that survivors are not alone. They are worthy and they can have a rich and fulfilling life, even amidst prosecution. Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue. If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.The Symmetrical All Wheel Drive drive-train layout was introduced in Both became standard equipment for mid-size and smaller cars in most markets by The lone exception is the BRZintroduced in via a partnership with Toyota, which pairs the boxer engine with rear-wheel-drive.
In Western markets, Subaru vehicles have traditionally attracted a small but devoted core of buyers. The company's marketing targets those who desire its signature engine and drive train, all-wheel drive and rough-road capabilities, or affordable sports car designs.
Subaru is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster M45, or the "Seven Sisters" one of whom tradition says is invisible — hence only six stars in the Subaru logowhich in turn inspires the logo and alludes to the companies that merged to create FHI.
Inthe company created the Fuji Rabbita motor scooterwith spare aircraft parts from the war. Between andfive of these corporations and a newly formed corporation decided to merge to form Fuji Heavy Industries.
Kenji KitaCEO of Fuji Heavy Industries at the time, wanted the new company to be involved in car manufacturing and soon began plans for building a car with the development code-name P Kita canvassed the company for suggestions about naming the P1, but none of the proposals were appealing enough.
In the end he gave the company a Japanese name that he "had been cherishing in his heart": Subaru, which is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster.
The first Subaru car was named the Subaru Subsequently, the company designed and manufactured dozens of vehicles including thethe tiny air-cooledthe Sambarand the which saw the introduction of the Subaru boxer engine in Nissan acquired a Nissan would utilize FHI's bus manufacturing capability and expertise for their Nissan Diesel line of buses.
In turn many Subaru vehicles, even today, use parts from the Nissan manufacturing keiretsu. During that time, Subaru introduced the Bajaand the Tribeca GM liquidated their holdings in FHI in Nearly all Saab-Subaru joint projects were dropped at that time, other than Subaru supplying parts for the Saab x.
The rest of GM's shares went to a Fuji stock buy-back program. Toyota increased their share of FHI to In the s, an ad firm hired by Subaru found the all wheel drive cars were popular among lesbians. The company started including subtle marketing to this demographic.It was the mid s, and sales of Subaru cars were in decline. After firing the hip ad agency, Subaru of America changed its approach.
Subaru Successfully Marketed to LGBT Community
Rather than compete directly with Ford, Toyota, and other carmakers that dwarfed Subaru in size, executives decided to return to its old focus on marketing Subaru cars to niche groups—like outdoorsy types who liked that Subaru cars could handle dirt roads. This search for niche groups led Subaru to the 3rd rail of marketing: They discovered that lesbians loved their cars. This was the type of discovery that the small, struggling automaker was looking for.
But Subaru had been looking for niche groups like skiers and kayakers—not lesbian couples.
Did the company want to make advertisements for gay customers? At the time, in the mid s, few celebrities were openly out. Yet Subaru decided to launch an ad campaign focused on lesbian customers. It was such an unusual decision—and such a success—that it pushed gay and lesbian advertising from the fringes to the mainstream. That was the question faced by Subaru of America executives in the s.
When Subaru marketers talked to these customers, they realized these women buying Subarus were lesbian. The marketers found that lesbian Subaru owners liked that the cars were good for outdoor trips, and that they were good for hauling stuff without being as large as a truck or SUV.
An example of Subaru's niche marketing—in this case to appeal to outdoorsy types. Photo courtesy of Subaru. Of all the niche groups, lesbians may have exhibited the most fervor.
For medical professionals, it was that a Subaru with all-wheel-drive could get them to the hospital in any weather. For rugged individualists, it was that a Subaru could handle dirt roads and haul gear.
For lesbians, it was that a Subaru fit their active, low-key lifestyle. But it was easier to get senior management on board with making ads for hikers than for lesbians. Pop culture had also yet to embrace the LGBT cause. When Ellen Degeneres became a rare exception inand her character in the show Ellen came out as gay in an episode of the sitcom, many companies pulled their ads.
Gay-friendly advertising was largely limited to the fashion and alcohol industries. Today, this IKEA ad of a gay couple shopping for a dining room table seems mundane. But inthe film crew was tense, and its airing incited backlash and New York Times op-eds.
Early in his career, he made cold calls to ask companies for their business. It was tough. Reporter Ron Dicker ably captured some of the cultural confusion that followed:.
Upon reading the definition, they nodded at the idea enthusiastically. According to Bennett, who is gay, they never faced disrespect within Subaru.
But Bennett did not reveal his sexual orientation, fearing it would overshadow the effort, and it took a year and a half to get everyone at Subaru onboard. For a car company, openly marketing to gay customers still felt new, if not taboo.Independent coffee shops everywhere tend to have a liberal vibe, but Blue State, which began in with the location where I sit in New Haven, Conn. Conservatives can drink here, of course, but while their money is welcome, their politics are not.
Blue State Coffee is a prime example of the politicization of commerce. What they lose in mass appeal, they seem to think, they gain in fierce loyalty. In effect, Schultz was saying that Starbucks had joined the resistance. The same week, Uber canceled surge pricing on rides to JFK Airport in New York City, a move that seemed to undercut a strike called by taxi drivers to protest the detention of foreigners denied entry to the U.
It also asked Trump to cancel his temporary travel ban. It sometimes seems as if every company in the strip mall has a political brand. Commerce has, of course, always been political. Businesspeople, more often than not conservatives, have networked and lobbied to fight government regulation, unions and other perceived evils.
But the politics used to be conducted on the down-low. The U. Chamber of Commerce was organized by President Taft to fight the labor movement, but then went through a long period of bipartisanship before returning in recent years, under CEO Tom Donohue, to an open allegiance with Republican business interests. All of this was largely invisible to most consumers. Now it sometimes seems as if every company in the strip mall has a political brand.
The new Chick-fil-A off Exit 9? Sometimes too reliable — they got suckered by the scientifically suspect anti-GMO panic. Which also will scrub off the stains from my Blue State coffee. And so the circle of virtue is complete. Self-satisfied as my shopping choices make me, I am not sure they are good for the country, even if they are better for the planet.
But they also should function as sites of unexpected conversation, the kind that might change our lives — as when we meet our soulmate over an extra-hot non-fat mocha — or, perhaps, our political views. As a progressive, I am cheered by what the Starbucks and Lyft cases tell us about the country: that people who agree with me have buying power, and thus clout. You have to believe that CEOs at Starbucks, Disney and elsewhere have run the numbers and concluded that our country resembles the popular vote, not the electoral college.
There are more of us than there are of them. But if conservatives avoid Starbucks, then something is lost — for me, anyway. To read the article in Spanish, click here. Mark Oppenheimera contributing writer to Opinion, is the host of the podcast Unorthodox. Follow the Opinion section on Twitter latimesopinion and Facebook. You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.
Cutting drug prices is a noble purpose.
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