I was perusing Car & Driver on the plane and was stopped by an ad for the Subaru WRX STI, a helluva cool car to drive.

The headline: When you go 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, you don't need a made-up character called Fast. It's what makes Subaru a Subaru."

The reference to a character called Fast, for those who missed it, is the creative device Volkswagen ad agency Crispin, Porter + Bogusky came up with to launch WRX rival GTI a few months ago. The Fast is a small toy that loosely resembles a rabbit trick-or-treating as Darth Vader. In some TV ads, the Fast acts as an inner voice of the driving enthusiast. The Fast speaks to the GTI driver on a wavelength only he can hear, telling him, for example, to drive for the pizza instead of taking delivery or to keep the windows down despite his wind-blown girlfriend's protests.

What I find a bit comical about this ad by Subaru is that the shot of the WRX shows the car in a really ugly color and sporting a ridiculously over-the-top rear spoiler, just the sort of rice rocket the GTI pokes fun at in another aspect of the campaign. The Subaru ad mocks a rival's attempt, successful in my estimation, to be fun and creative in its communication. Subaru and ad agency DDB ought to try it some time.

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