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subaru outback ad – gay male couple

This Subaru car commercial depicts an animated Subaru driving through various neighborhoods and landscapes. Throughout the advertisement, written questions scroll on the bottom of the screen, asking big questions about the nature of life. “How do you see yourself?”, “What do you see yourself doing?”, “Where do you see yourself going?”, “How will you get there?” At the end of the ad, we the car stops by a lake, and two men get out of the vehicle, walking together.


Did you have any expectations about the genders of the drivers of the car? What shaped these expectations? Were you surprised that two men were revealed to be in the car? Why or why not?

Consider the target audience for this ad. What is their age? Gender? Sexual orientation? Socio-Economic status?. What clues from within the advertisement help determine this target audience? Consider both audio and visual cues, including the text at the bottom of the screen and the various environments that the animated car drives through.


Subaru has long been been known as a champion for lesbian and gay rights, and was a sponsor of the lesbian-centric Showtime show, “The L Word.” This ad uses suburban, middle-class imagery to sell their popular brand of cars. While viewed as progressive on LGBTQ rights, their marketing strategy could also be critiqued for reinforcing assumptions about how LGBT individuals do and should operate in society. That is, Subaru focuses on LGBT people who buy cars, are in committed long-term relationships, live in nice places and have money to take vacations to lakes. Their approach has been critiqued by some LGBT advocates for disregarding less visible representations of LGBT people who do not fit these upper-middle class characteristics.

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