Subaru Dog Commercial

Table of Contents

Why do we like Subaru? It’s not just a high-quality car manufacturer from Japan, but a visionary as well. Let us explain it to you. Subaru dog commercial, does it tell you anything? If not, then you have missed a lot of interesting stuff to laugh and smile about. Subaru launched an advertising campaign focusing on own vehicles and needs they cover correspondingly to certain types of drivers. The feedback for the videos show during the Super Bowl was so great that, Subaru decided to continue the trend and now, we have several videos in the same vein: dogs driving vehicles and making fun of their human owners. Let’s take a closer look at every commercial video.

In the Dog House

In this video released in January 2014, the dog dad drives a vehicle. We see a mom dog on the left of the dog dad and two kids behind. This whole scene can be described as an average American family of two adults, a teenager and a child between 8-11 years. The car stops by the crossroad to let a passer-by cross the road. Suddenly “dad” spots a poodle crossing the road. It is rather slim, athletic and trimmed nicely. French tunes roll in: “Je t’aime, mi amore, oui-oui” (I love you, my love, yes-yes). The dog dad makes a surprised look and follows the poodle by his eyes. Mom dog seeing dad’s reaction, stares at him and growls. We can just guess what “she” was saying. With such growl of hers only “Are you serious?! Right now?!” comes to our mind. The poodle goes away, the vehicle with the dog family moves on and the motto comes in:

“Dog tested. Dog approved”.

Here’s the video itself.

It is hard for a non-professional eye to tell what kind of Subaru model it was, but the marketing department certainly achieved its goal. This dog-vehicle commercial made our day and set a continuous trend seen in later Subaru’s commercial. Here comes a simple conclusion: does the car model really matter to you if you still can remember this commercial and the “Subaru’s” logo?


Video was released on January 29th, 2016 on Subaru’s official YouTube channel. There are two versions – short and extended.

In the extended version of the commercial we see a Subaru rolling down the street. It is late in the afternoon, streets are empty. A Lab driver looks in the rear view mirror and sees his baby – another lab attached to children safety chair (see also Pitbull lab mix). The baby is whining, something is not wrong. Sometime later, the baby calms down and falls asleep. The dog keeps on driving and sees the baby sleeping. Finally, they make it home, Subaru stops in front of the garage door. The driver dog, which is baby’s father doesn’t know how to get out of the car and opens the door. The baby dog immediately wakes up and starts barking. “Dad” shuts the door; drives back and guess the ride continues, maybe to make the baby fall asleep again.

This commercial takes the crowd by its cuteness and evident hint: Subaru is so soft and smooth in driving that even the most agitated baby will fall asleep. Time and again we can only guess what model of Subaru was used in shooting, but does it really matter?! The cuteness scale is so high that you will remember this commercial no matter what, because Subaru and Labs do match.

Phone Navigation

Video was released also on January 29th, this year. We meet the Lab family again! This time, they are somewhere in the open: They stop on some highway and the Lab dad barks at his smartphone attached to the holder and asks for directions. It’s hilarious hearing the Lab barking and the computer female voice trying to decipher dog’s barking. The dialogues in this commercial are the main-events. The dad dog barks and smartphone voice tells: “One moment, while I search roof repair”. It’s the question that lost driver needs to know right now. Then mom Lab interferes – comes another woof-woof. The answer is not helpful: “Sure, I can call Rauf”. Both dogs are all at sea and now we see the whole family roll calling: parents and the baby bark altogether. The smartphone replies to baby’s query: “Looking up vacation rentals in Saint Barts”. Just as the phone bean answering the baby’s query, dad stomps the phone and switches it off and continues driving. Dog tested, dog approved in the end of the commercial gives us another brilliant hint: the car is comfortable, it is reliable. Who cares if you are lost? Does it matter while you are in car with a tank full of gas?

Brilliant commercial with the same approach: funny dogs behaving like humans in which everybody recognizes themselves.

Windshield Wiper

Half a minute of pure fun. Labs hit the road again! Positive tune plays as our canine family rolls down the street. The driver is very relaxed, and suddenly, some goo lands right on the front windshield. Then, another drop and another. The driver switches on the windshield wiper and smudges the goo across the half of the windshield. Well, guess the ride continues but nope – another drops of goo come along! What could that be?

The answer will make you die laughing…. There is another car in front…driven by a drooling bulldog! With his side window open, the bulldog covers the steering wheel and the dashboard with his saliva. Gross! But hey, it’s sheer fun! Don’t pay attention to the car – remember the dogs. It’s another bull’s eye: humor won’t let you forget this particular commercial.

Bad Hair Day

This is one of our favorite commercials. A cheery-color Subaru hatchback is parked near some “Salon”, possibly a beauty salon. The driver sitting in Subaru looks to his right and sees a Lab with a shawl coming out the salon while an Afghan greyhound with long and dense coat enters the salon. The Lab with the shawl on is our mom Lab that we already know. She sits on passenger’s seat next to the driver and the latter looks at her and makes an interrogatory sounds like “How did it go?” After that, he asks her to put away the shawl to take a closer look at the results. The dog turns its head… And everybody dies laughing: the haircut is the 80’s style. Think of any glam-rock band like Twisted Sister or Motley Crue and you will come up with the right image of this haircut. The driver whines and the dog with “unfortunate” cut growls. There is a short dialogue, the content of which we can only guess about. By viewing the comments under the video, we have come up with the idea:

  • What is that thing on your head?
  • You tell anybody about this and I’ll kill you.
  • I was just trying to…

And they both drive away.

Another great video with another perfect performance.

Doggie Bag

The aforementioned cherry-color Subaru hatchback and stops by a restaurant called “Villa”. Dogs enter the restaurant and now, we see them sitting at the table: a rose in a vase, two dishes, the fire on the background, romantic French music playing. In the next episode, they are leaving the restaurant holding paper bags in their mouths. Where is the Subaru? Finally it arrives, but is covered with dirt. Oh what a twist – the car behind the steering wheel is the parking guy! The side window rolls down and the cat looks at them. Dogs are baffled with the car’s condition and both make interrogatory as if asking on what happened with the car. The cat has nothing to answer with and simply rolls the window up.

Guess the parking guy had great time driving Subaru hatchback around the block and got so carried away by the fun that he ended with the car covered with dirt completely. Actually, there are many similar commercials where the parking guy learns the comfort, driving someone’s car. But this particular video made our day, because everybody likes dogs, cats and unusual setting.

What’s the Fuss About?

This commercial was aired in 2014, January 13th.

We see Lab family driving a Subaru sedan in some suburbs. The family is calm and peaceful, but suddenly, something draws everyone’s attention. All dogs, including the youngster start barking loudly. It was an ice-cream van driving on the left lane!

A dog is always a dog, right? They really do not like ice-cream vans, mainly because they make loud sonorous noise when driving in your district. The van drives all dogs mad so the transition from a human-like pet family to ordinary dogs was hilarious.


The commercial released in January, 2014, shows us a Subaru hatchback. It’s dark outside; there is no one around… But what is that sound? It sound like someone is pouring a can of soda into a tall glass with ice cubes. That’s what we thought first. Who would want some soda in the midnight? Maybe there is something other going around? Exactly! This pouring sound turns out to be two dogs licking each other’s mouths. A Lab and a Boxer are portraying teenagers, maybe high-school pupils kissing secretly. They touch their hands… we mean paws on the brake handle. Suddenly, the lights go on in a neighboring house. The dogs cease their business and look at it. There is a big Lab staring at them: it barks and the car drives away. The Lab teen remain sitting on the lawn in front the house. Well, we saw that coming – it is a classic episode we saw played so many times. Teens kiss; a parent sees it and interferes. Someone’s gonna have a sleepless night with prior rough talk on proper behavior and dating nice guys.


Road Trip Convenience Store

A silver Subaru hatchback stops by a filling station. Time and again it’s the Lab family. The driver quits the car and strolls to the convenience store nearby. We see him standing up by the desk and barking. The rest of the family also leaves the car. The next second, the driver is seen leaving the store with a stick: it holds the key to the store’s WC. The next caption shows us the family drinking from the toilet bowl and drying under the hand-dryer. After that the family returns to the car and drives away. The same human-pet twist as we saw it in the commercial with the ice-cream van. 30 seconds long, but still makes your day.

Turn Signal

The Lab family is riding in the same Subaru we saw in the previous commercial. Camera focuses on the speedometer that shows us the current speed: the arrow points out at speed somewhere between 0 and 10 miles per hour. The mom dog makes a sound as if asking: “Why so slow?” We see an old car driving in front of Subaru with red signals on: we hear characteristic “hitting” sounds which mean the car is about to break. The car is dodgingthe driver seems to be careless. Labs in Subaru look at each other and have nothing else to do than keep on driving behind the old car.

Behind the Camera: Conclusion

Prior to shooting these fabulous commercials, Subaru made a research which showed that 80 percent of owners have a pet. The aim of the marketing department was not to make traditionally costly Super Bowl ads, but to focus on being the official auto sponsor of the Puppy Bowl held on Animal Planet Channel (see also According to the official press-release Subaru made earlier, the dog family in all videos bears the name of Barkley’s. Actually, the dogs are Labradors and Golden Retrievers, by the way, two of the most popular breeds in the US.

The whole “Dog tested. Dog approved.” TV ad campaign used the famous Barkley’s family that once already hit the TV sets all across the nation back in 2013 with “Meet the Barkley’s” campaign.

The vice president of Subaru, America, Alan Bethke shared his opinion on the reasons for such advertising strategy. He says that, Subaru and its customers share the same connection to pets. As 8 out of 10 Subaru owners have pets, the brand has the ground “to continue to support the causes and initiatives that our customers care about”. This whole campaign is built on Subaru’s larger initiative called “Subaru Loves Pets”. It extends to working with the ASPCA and sponsoring national pet adoption programs.

Alan gave also a brilliant thought that we may conclude this great advertising campaign with: “With the new ‘Dog Tested. Dog Approved’ campaign, we hope

drivers everywhere will enjoy and relate to the latest escapades of the Barkley family, while seeing a bit of themselves along the way.”

You know what, Mr. Bethke? We thought and saw it the same way! 10 out of 10, Subaru dog commercial!