New Subaru Ad Promotes Brand’s Safety; Captures Teen’s “First Time Out” Driving Moment

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New Subaru Ad Promotes Brand’s Safety; Captures Teen’s “First Time Out” Driving Moment

We all have that one commercial that makes us tear up. We may not admit it, but every time it comes on, we stop what we’re doing and reach for a tissue. A new Subaru commercial falls into this category, and if you’re a parent, it will tug on your heartstrings more than just a little bit.

The TV ad, called “Baby Driver,” features a father handing over the car keys to his daughter as she sets off to drive alone for the first time. If you’ve ever watched your son or daughter pull out of the driveway for their first solo ride, we bet this ad will make you choke up. (Interesting side note: the two girls who star in the ad are real-life sisters and the “dad” is the real-life father to both girls.)

The ad starts with a six-year-old girl behind the wheel of a Subaru Legacy, while her father gives her the “safety talk” through the passenger side window. When he passes her the keys, we see that it’s really been a 16-year-old about to take her first ride alone, even though her Dad still sees her as his “little girl.”

And in a situation where life imitates art, Andy Lyons, who plays the concerned father, is experiencing this moment in his own life. “As father to both the girls, portraying those complex emotions on-screen was not a stretch for me. Having my first daughter, Lanna reach driving age and knowing that my second, Georgie, will be there all too soon, I understand the anxiety of handing over the keys for the first time.”

This ad is meant to spotlight the inherent safety of Subaru vehicles and the time in a teen’s life when they are responsible enough to take the family vehicle out on the road, as it tries to authentically portray that big moment. “When we found this family we threw out the script,” said Kevin Mayer, director of marketing communications, Subaru of America, Inc. “We simply asked the dad, what would you tell your daughter before she pulled away? The dad took it from there and he was perfect.”

Watch the video after the jump, and feel free to well up (we promise not to tell).

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  • jennifer stellmacher

    Never in my entire life have I wanted to comment on a commercial. i am a super proud parent of a 17 and 19 year old. LOVED this commercial. It is right on-it is exactly how we feel, as parents. Really loved it. Please pass on to Subaru!

  • john walborn

    This is clearly the best ad that I have seen in a while. I certainly remember the 1st time I handed my daughter the keys. This ad really hits home. Great Ad.

  • Nicole Mcdonald

    Best ad ever!!!!!! So touching.

  • Jim Cordes

    This has got to be the best commercial of the year. All three characters are terrific. And to read that they are in the same family even enhances its effectiveness.

  • Brenda Norman

    To see a pro-family, pro-Dad TV ad is so refreshing. I love this ad!

  • Rbanda

    You guy’s made the most meaningful commercial ever. You touched my heart. This reminds me of my niece (A.J Smith! Great job Subaru! This is my favorite commercial. I do not like commercials!

  • Paul

    As a Dad with two grown daughters, this terrific commercial captures perfectly how time goes by too fast. Not only is this commercial well done and poignant, it is probably the only car ad that doesn’t show a car going from 0 to 60 in 2 nanoseconds.

  • Jackie

    Great commercial! and I cannot believe I’m giving feedback on a TV ad, but this one is really good & meaningful!

  • Susan

    I get choked up and teary every time I see this! GREAT ad.

  • Terri

    I love this commercial. How adorable and so fitting to the dads who are in the situation now…I think they will always be daddy’s little girl.
    The commercial is right on. Kudos to the writer or whoever put this together. Good Job.

  • Darryl Schmitz

    Although I’m partial to American automobile brands, I am nonetheless very impressed by Subaru’s production of this outstanding commercial. Thank you, Subaru!

  • Jennifer

    I love this commercial…so heartwearming!

  • John Ruff

    a winner!!! … daddy, okay ….

  • Carolyn

    This is such a terrific ad – so subtle and really enhances the brand. Who is the agency/

  • Logan

    LOVE this commercial. Absolutely LOVE it!

  • John A. Fallone

    This is one of the greatest commercials ever…it makes the safety point so well–and pulls on the heart strings.

    All three characters in the narrative are genuine–and all Dads, like myself, who’ve experienced the “young daughter driving for the first time” scenario can relate.

    The commercial is also effective because I do remember it is a Subaru.

    Competitors beware– the Subaru brand may usurp the safety category that Volvo has owned in consumers’ minds for some time!

    –John A. Fallone, President & CEO – Traininguru

  • Pete

    The teenage daughter is smoking hot. Almost too hot. She look like a future super model rather than all american girl next door. Now I don’t even know wtf the commercial is supposed to be about. I thought it was a Nissan ad but more googling got tells me it’s Subaru lol Get an uglier girl next time Subaru and your message won’t be forgotten!

  • Skip

    Every so often in a creative process, everything just comes together absolutely perfectly..the look,the people and especially the message, are just so compelling in a spectacular way..As a father who has “handed over the keys”…I recognized myself and my daughter in this ad…makes me smile every time I see this..thanks Subaru.

  • Michael

    This ad really hit me- I remember the moment my (now 23 year old) daughter first drove around the block alone, when I taught her how to drive a straight stick in a parking lot, etc. Earlier this year, she was hit by another driver in her Outback Sport, which was totaled. She’s fine, and driving an Outback Sedan. Our family has 3 Subies. Why drive anything else?

    Still tearing up from the ad…

  • Heidi

    This makes my cry every time. I have three daughters and my youngest just turned 16 and got her license. Just a wonderful commercial!

  • Shirley

    Hats off to Subaru in their choice for this commercial. Hats off also to the ad agency. With so many terrible commercials where everyone has to act stupidly or there is a lot of rubbish and when the commercials are over one wonders what all that mess was advertising !! Again, the whole commercial was well cast and well directed. Congratulations to all.

  • David

    The young daughter saying …..”ok dad….” is so like a young child. You just can’t make that up. Great job.

  • Mark

    Showing a child in the driver’s seat is illegal and promotes dangerous situations. There are many cases of young children crashing cars. Subaru worsens the ad by having parent handing the keys to the child. I can’t believe any parent would see this ad as promoting safety.

  • amped

    @Mark

    Mind telling me where its illegal to have a child in the driver seat of a NON-MOVING vehicle while its parked and stationary? I know you’re not going to mention any of the 50 states in the US or any of the provinces in Canada.

  • Eileen

    GREAT COMMERCIAL = absolutely love it!

  • Brad

    Mark, you’re a moron. Get off your high-horse.

    Great commercial. That little girls smile when she grabs the keys gets me every time.

  • socialmediawave

    The ad supports good social foundations by creating associations with parents with children at an inflection point in life. The brand is not top of mind for “safety”, but as presented in this way- we can start to consider it as a possibility. Good job indeed.

    I am not sure parents want to consider the cost of insuring a 16 year old in a new Subaru however..perhaps a Bus Token is a more realistic icon of a rite of passage for most parents!

    @socialmediawave

  • Howard

    It is so refreshing to see a car commercial do more than just selling a brand. Telling a meaningful story without having to use moronic humor or just trying to be cute is also refreshing. You don’t have to be a father to feel the human emotion being played out. What clearer message can a commercial convey, “my most treasured part of my life” is driving away in a safe car. A Subaru. I don’t own a Subaru, I may never own one but this commercial has put the brand on my radar. Kudos to all involved in the making of this commercial and to all the executives both corporate and creative who championed it.

  • Mikki

    I have owned my first Subaru for 2 1/2 years now and proud of it. Even more proud that it is from a company that cares. Commercials like this endear consumers to your brand. Real people are who I like to hear from and I don’t even have kids.. LOVE this commercial. More please…

  • Paul

    @ Mark

    Wow bro..did you even watch the commercial? Get a grip man, its supposed to promote a good message not a messaage of infant drivers.

    Great commercial, don’t have a child myself, but can only imagine how that commercial has got to be spot-on for the feeling parents get while handing a automobile over to them. Well done Subaru! Knowing they are all in the same family made it that much better.

  • Toni

    I have twins that just turned 16 and this commercial really got me!! Thanks for one of the best commercials I have ever seen!

  • Colin Hurford

    This is the best ad ever!! having a duaghter it really tugs at your heartstrings!!

  • Vivian

    I have to agree, that while I’ve seen many great ads before (and some really tacky, bad ones), this particular ad has got to be one of the best, most heart-warming (wrenching??) ads ever… I have a teenager and oh can I ever relate to that feeling of looking at your 18-yr-old and seeing that baby girl in front of you… kudos to Subaru, kudos to that ad agency…

  • Lynda Mackey

    Every time I watch this commercial it takes me back to my son’s 17th year. (He’s 20 years now and 2nd year in college) I laughed and cried that year. The emotions of the father in this ad warms my heart every time. I’ll never get tired of this ad. Thank You Subaru.

  • Steve

    Little known fact… the two daughters and the father (aka Andy Lyons) is the actual real life father of the two girls who indeed are actually sisters

  • Denny

    I would vote it the best car commerical of the year, and I agree with Pete who talks about the teenage girl being smok’n HOT!! She is very pretty and could probably make it in show biz easy!!

  • Vincent

    Great commercial. As a dad, in my eyes the daughter is always a little girl even she is 20 now and 3rd year in college …

  • Michelle

    How can I get a CD of the Baby Driver Commercial ? I would like to play this for my daughter’s graduation in June. This is an amazing commercial! This commercial is our story exactly this summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tom King

    I love it! I love it! I love it! My “little girl” is now 30 with her own daughter. But it’s so true-no matter how old they are,they will still be your “little girl”.

    The real life situation of this Dad being the real life father of these two young ladies injects such unbelievable realism into this commercial (The annoyed “Daddy, OK!” & the subtle little smile of the older daughter as she leaves is so real life.) Bottomline, there’s a special relationship between Dads & their daughters & Kevin Meyer and his people have tapped into it big time. Congratulations.

  • Cathy

    So sweet!

  • Chris

    Some parents might interested n the unique safety feature. Watch and listen closely to the commercial. While dad is standing next to the car holding the keys, and the little girl is sitting in the drivers seat, the car is running and idling. When dad hands her the keys and the the grown girl inserts them in the ignition and starts the car, the car stops running.

  • Steve

    I identify totally with this commercial. My young daughter has her license but is still very timid behind the wheel. I stress out each time she drives away until she returns…ah fatherhood…

  • Robert

    What an incredible commercial that paints a dad in a great light about how much he cares about this family. Chokes me up every time.

  • AlexM

    Mark, if you aren’t simply trying to ‘create a stir’ from your remark, I suggest you find a longterm hiding place from the rest of society and immerse yourself in piles of good, educational books. Stay away from ‘touchy-feely’ stuff, but try to include a few commonsense-building texts as well.

    I loathe commercials, as a general rule, but Subaru hit a grand slam with this one!

  • Karrie

    I’m a mother of a 17 year old female driver. I had posted on my facebook how I get teary eyed at the “Subaru Commercial”. My friend sort of made fun of me. I googled the commerical and am so happy to see it wasn’t just me! I want to click like on almost all of these comments! lol Also, I love the little wave the Dad gives.. so heartwarming and so real. Great Job!! Makes me want to go out and buy one! It was worth to watch a “commerical” to watch this commercial again.

  • Lana

    As the mother of a 16 year girl who just got her license, this is one of my all time favorite commercials. I just fell in love with the Dad and the little girls and to know that they really are Daddy and daughters just makes it all the more special. Way to go Subaru! One of the most heartfelt, true-to-life commercials ever:-)

  • Mike

    I owned a Subaru 30 years ago, and it was the worst vehicle I’ve ever owned. I swore I’d never go back — until this commercial came along. I now have three children, so I’ve been through a similar situation three times. The “Daddy, okay,” comment, with the little girl’s voice trailing off, was absolutely spot-on.

    The insurance company that uses that stupid Flo should take notice of how a commercial can work well to sell and entertain without making anyone seem stupid or childish.

    p.s.: Mark, you’re an idiot.

  • Kim

    my kid takes the driver’s license test in 3 days. This is so how I feel! What a GREAT commercial. Kudos to Subaru. I’ve had a Subaru in the past. Great car, it lasted FOREVER!

  • Dan

    @Mark – probably a socialist nanny with a hollow life, trying to look down on others…

    The ad was great. Yes, the girls are ultra cute, but that got my attention. The situation is realistic and heart-warming.

    I think we’ll see all 3 actors in the future. Hope so!

    Well done by the agency involved.

    Subaru? Well, I’m a motorcycle guy, but my sister has one!

  • Joe

    Love the way the little girl struggles with her seatbelt and sticks her tongue between her teeth as she’s handed the keys. So realistic, seemingly unrehearsed. With two driving daughters of my own, this is spot-on!

  • yourmothersir

    I would like this commercial more if the girl actually looked like a girl and some some 22 year old super model. Seriously, is it that hard to choose a kid to do this role?

  • NICK

    JUST PERFECT..ALTHOUGHT ,IDE NEVER BUY A SUBARU.. AS I ONLY BUY AMERICAN PRODUCTS WHEN I CAN, BUT THIS IS THE BEST AD ON T V BY A LONG SHOT ! I WATCH IT EVERY TIME I SEE IT. WHAT AN IDEA!

  • Bob Smith

    The most heart-warming commercial ever; I aways have to repaly it several times when I see it. (I liked it so much I will give Subaru a once over when ready to buy.) Thanks Subaru…

  • Eddie

    I have three daughters and it made me cry. This is one of the best commercials of all time. It doesnt insult my intelligence. I’m going to drive a Subaru the next time I go shopping.

    Thanks Subaru for such a gem of a commercial.

  • James

    I think Howard hit the nail on the head, so to speak, with his comments. I have a cousin who is about to turn 9, is a single parent adoptee, and emotionally is like a daughter to me. She has been fascinated by cars since the age of 3. I have another family member who is a very happy Subaru owner, but this commercial is the primary reason the Subaru brand has leapt to the forefront of my consciousness re a new car purchase. I am 50 years old and I think this is the best commercial ever produced for any product. I’ve seen it well over 100 times and it still elicits a positive and valuable response.

  • Michael Scott

    Never owned a Subaru, but this one commercial would make me consider buying one. Great job.

  • Paul

    Wow! I thought I was the only one who was smitten with this commercial! It is refreshing to see a commercial that is truly touching. This ad is precious, as are the people who starred in it.

  • Wayne DeWitt

    I logged in on Subaru to comment on the best commercial I have ever seen and learned that I was not the only one that had this opinion. Great job. Some one at the agency deservises a raise.

  • ADF

    As a father of 3 daughters (20, 18 and 16) I will always see them as my little girls. Great commercial Subaru

  • Linda

    Yes, this is – by far- the best car commercial ever! And, while I was at first offended by the comments about the “smokin’ hot” (and underaged) teenager driving for the first time, I have to admit that the sincerity and concern that Dad conveyed was downright sexy. A balding, aging and very hot, very sexy man. Now, go out and buy a Subaru, men, and attract a confidant, “smokin’ hot” real woman!

  • Barry Alimov

    I don’t watch commercial but boy! this one rocks. Neverdrove a subaru before, but I’m definetely thinking getting one. By the way how to be in a comercial like that?.

  • Jim

    One of the most moving commercials I have seen in my adult life. My oldest daughter has been driving for a year now, and my youngest is roughly the same as the younger daughter in the commercial.

    Brilliant job done by the advertising firm, especially now knowing that the family in the commercial is a true “family” and not a “made-up” one for the commercial. Subaru, you hit a home run with this one.

    BTW, Mark, you’re an idiot.

  • DIANA GARCIA

    I love this Subaru commercial,as a Mother of two grown daughters and three granddaughters 11-(one new driver 17)-23 it almost brings tears to my eyes. Those are wonderful proud and scary moments all at the same time. Like ALL the comments no matter how old they are they will forever be young in your heart and mind. Brilliant Advertising 5*****’s

  • Jean Arouet

    The insane level of attractiveness of the actress playing the older version of the daughter blew any kind of information about the car completely out of my head. Completely.

    Then again, we’re nulliparous, and I don’t drive, and actively dislike cars, so I can just sit back and enjoy the dopamine hit of this amazing-looking primate, primate that I am myself.

  • Lindsay Gray

    I’m glad I found this site. I have loved this commercial, and the little girl breaks my heart — the way she says, ‘Daddy, Okay!’ She’s such a sweetie. I wonder was that remark just a natural comment, maybe after being slightly exasperated by her dad’s long-winded advice?
    I’d love to see how a commercial like that is made. Is there a lot of filming, then edited down when they get just the right expression or comment?

  • P. Stone

    I’ve been watching tv since the beginning. This commercial is in the top 3 of ALL-TIME! The little girl will grow up to be our SEC. of DEFENSE I’m sure. In buying a new car….I will look at Subaru first. Good job.

  • mimi

    I stop everything to watch this commercial. Wait,it’s on now. What a winner! Has everything: love, trust, responsibility. It’s been played dozens of times and I love it, it’s perfect. When my grandaughter comes of that age in a year, you bet I’ll check out the Subaru first. Kudos to the ad agency.

    As an aside, there are a number of commercials I’d like to cmment on but it’s difficult. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the agency’s name somewhere, like in the corner. Remember that horrid Mitsubishi where he’s (driver) looking at his passenger (girl) instead of the road? Or how about that ridiculous Capital One with the Emergency helicopter saving a couple on an island? The Vikings group are so much better. Jeep had a great commercial, 20 sec. of the U.S. history, played only a few times and gone. Thank for this commercial Subaru.

  • JanPattersonRN

    As a viewer, it’s heartwarming.
    As a parent, it’s validating.
    But as a Registered Nurse whose seen too many kids come into the hospital as a result of careless driving, it’s brilliant.

    “We knew this day was coming.”

    Obvious that along with Dad’s concern [and, presumably, Mom's] for the girls’ safety is an understanding that it’s not JUST the car you buy, but the way you teach your children WHY you bought it: because accidents happen. Because people make mistakes. Because even with the best habits in the world, things come out of the blue. But with good habits, with good driving skills, with attention, a good car becomes the perfect car for the job.

    Go Subaru. Well done.

  • RoflcopterJones

    I have to admit, this is a pretty good, heartwarming commercial, even if I think the styling of the current Legacy is a bit odd (I prefer the previous-gen Legacy’s styling).

    The only thing that seems a bit off is that the dad has bought his daughter, a new driver, a brand-new (and seemingly, fully-loaded) 2010 Legacy. It’d make a bit more sense imo to have a third-gen Legacy in the ad. A small quibble, at that.

  • Rosie Castillo

    Georgie is a doll and Lanna is beautiful. Their Dad should be very proud of them. I remember these moments with my children, Grandchildren, and pretty soon my Great Grandchildren. I stop whatever I’m doing to watch this commercial, Bravo!

  • J.E.Buckingham

    Bravo, and hats off to Subaru for making a truly touching commercial like the Kodak commercials of the late 1960s. To Andy Lyons, I say God bless you and your beautiful family. Your little girl, Georgie, is an absolute doll! As is your older daughter, Lanna. Now I know angels exist here on earth! I did more than just well up, watching this tv commercial!

  • Ash

    I thought the commercial was a change of pace from the regular hollywood type commercial. As you can see by all the comments, it truly hits home. We should try to be as responsible as the dad in the commercial. Help us help our children and save them from themselves!!!!!!

  • Joe

    Its great to see a commercial that actually makes you feel good. So many of the commercials on TV are an insult to our intelligence.

  • jschmidt

    Love the ad. My family has 3 Subaru’s. The ad makes sense, hits the target, and doesn’t stretch the truth. Like the way he discourages cell phone usage.

  • J.E.B.

    Subaru just proved that angels DO EXIST on earth, in the form of that beautiful little girl, Georgie Lyons!

  • Melisa

    I am the mother of a 9 and 5 year old. When I see this commercial I cry every time. I see my 5 year old sitting in that seat and just lose it. Thank you for such a moving and beautiful commercial Subaru!

  • Ginger

    I love this ad so much and no matter how many times I see it, I still get a lump in my throat. It inspired me to write my latest blog: http://skirt.com/ginger/blog/one-more-road. Thank you for such a beautiful ad that connects with Moms and Dads of new drivers!

  • Drewr94563

    My cousin (who is emotionally like a daughter to me—-her mom adopted her as a single mom and I don’t have any kids of my own to be paternal toward) is the same age as Georgie. In the late afternoon after her first day of kindergarten I was sitting in my car in front of their house and she was sitting in my lap. She had her heel resting on the A/C dial, she had her sunglasses on, and she was holding my cell phone to her ear. A neighbor came out of her house to wheel her now empty trash can back to its non trash day resting place. This neighbor saw us and started laughing and asked me how the first day of kindergarten went. I pointed downward and said that she was pretending to call her teacher. The neighbor smiled and laughed and shook her head (her kids had all had the same wonderful kindergarten teacher). I later realized that my cousin was modeling her mother (who only actually does this when PARKED). The force she was putting on the A/C dial permanently bent the dial. Whenever I happen to look directly at the dial I chuckle and remember the day described above. I think this commercial is the best commercial ever for any product, and I say that after TRYING to look at the matter objectively. Perhaps this hints at why this is the best commercial — it is so universally human and so authentic (a man and his actual daughters) that it might be impossible to view without it tugging at one’s heart.

  • jjdoe

    A PERFECT ad. The story behind it makes it even better. The little girl is super cute, the dad so sincere. Another great ad is the one where the guy is sitting on the living room floor, miming a slo-mo car accident, while his wife and daughters wrap their arms around him, like seat belts. Very effective ads!

  • Shannonmcshan

    No matter how many times my husband and I of 31 years watch this, we love it and say so many times “daddy, okayyyy”. I told him my next car is definitely a Subaru. We have three children and two grandchildren (29, 26, 19) (4,1) and that commercial brings back so many memories. It’s so very sweet. I wish things were still that sweet and innocent. I guess they are!!!

  • FarRightGuy

    Does this commercial contain a subliminal message?  The young girl’s shirt has red and white stripes while the older girls shirt has blue and white stripes.  Is this to mean she was a Republican in early life and grew up to become a Democrat? Why the change in colors?

  • Phill

    Yes, it’s to confuse you so the commies can take over your brain – though I can’t see why they’d bother.

  • Phill

    The ad has been around for a couple of years now, so the car really is an ‘older’ car.