Which led Subaru to the 3rd rail of marketing: They discovered that lesbians loved their cars.
Lesbians liked their dependability and size, and even the name “Subaru.”
‘Subaru’ is the Japanese name for the Pleiades, a six-star constellation. It was chosen to represent how six Japanese companies had merged to form Fuji Heavy Industries. But in English, the constellation is also known as the Seven Sisters—the same name as a group of American women’s colleges.
This was the type of discovery that the small, struggling automaker was looking for. So Subaru decided to launch an ad campaign focused on lesbian customers. It was such an unusual decision—and such a success—that it pushed gay and lesbian advertising from the fringes to the mainstream.
If you’ve ever wondered why people joke about lesbians driving Subarus, the reason is not just that lesbians like Subarus. It’s that Subaru cultivated its image as a car for lesbians.