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Selling real products by selling fake products

October 20, 2009

Last night’s rerun of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson* was sponsored by Outback Detergent.

The interesting part? Outback Detergent is not a real product, at least not in the sense we would usually think. It’s part of an ad campaign for the Subaru Outback.

After you get over the original “Huh?”, it almost makes sense: People tune out car commercials, so Subaru’s trying to shake it up a little.

But then you realize that the company seems to be targetting guys who fancy themselves tough and rugged by advertising laundry detergent.

Or if Subaru is trying to target the crowd that loves infomercials for their sheer cheesiness — well, those people are mostly college students or other people with too much free time who won’t be in the market for a brand-new SUV anytime soon.

It doesn’t seem all that well-planned to me. But maybe the whole point was to generate buzz about the campaign’s tactics, in which case …. darn. Well played, Subaru.

Does anyone else know of another brand that’s done something similar with a fake product?

*I adore Craig Ferguson. So there.

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