Subaru has been airing TV commercials featuring cute dogs for quite some time. Their newest ad series features the “Barkley’s,” a family of three Golden Retrievers and one Yellow Labrador Retriever. The commercials definitely put a smile on your face as the adorable canine family “acts out” common everyday driving experiences in five different ads. What makes the commercials work is how the director of the ads was able to portray the dogs spoofing humans. So, who are those dogs in the Subaru commercials?
At five years of age when the commercials were made, Auggie is a purebred Golden Retriever and plays the Doggy Dad perched behind the steering wheel of his Subaru. When not driving the family around town, he spends his time at home on a farm in Canada with 10 siblings, although he isn’t related to any of them. He loves stuffed animals and is often seen carrying one around. Auggie isn’t a newcomer to TV commercials. He has an impressive resume under his collar already, with roles in other commercials, TV shows and movies.
This sweet and adorable purebred Yellow Labrador Retriever was rescued from a Pasadena, California animal shelter. Stevie was four years old when she got her big break and only trained for six months to play the role of Mom in the Subaru commercials. This is her first starring role in a TV commercial. She also lives on the same farm with Auggie. When she isn’t curled up in her favorite doggy bed, Stevie’s next favorite thing to do is play ball with her family. She never met a tennis ball she didn’t like.
Sadie was only six months old when she made her acting debut as the older sister riding in the back seat of the car. She is a purebred Golden Retriever living with her human family in Moorpark, California. Being in the Subaru commercials gave this puppy star a chance to work on her socialization skills while learning the ins and outs of the acting world. While on set, Sadie was quick to hand out puppy kisses to all.
At the time the commercials were made, Sebastian was just a 12 week old purebred Golden Retriever puppy having fun with his siblings. He is from the same breeder in Moorpark, California as Sadie. According to people from Subaru, Sebastian thoroughly enjoyed riding around in his puppy car seat when they were shooting the commercials. A very energetic pup, the baby of the Barkley family was quick to learn all kinds of new tricks and behaviors. We may be seeing a lot more of this smart and adorable little guy in future commercials or movies.
All of the doggy “actors” were trained by professional animal trainers. The 30 second commercial spots were produced by the Carmichael Lynch Advertising Agency and directed by Brian Lee Hughes from Skunk Production Company.
The Barkley ads began airing in 2013. They certainly do catch your attention as the dogs play out their human roles. However, the commercials are also meant to remind drivers about the safety of dogs riding in cars. Subaru has partnered with the Center for Pet Safety and is an advocate for pet safety in vehicles. The company teamed up with the Center for Pet Safety to find a better way for dog owners to protect their dogs in vehicles after discovering current restraints on the market – crates, kennels and harnesses – are not effective when put through collision tests.
The “Road Trip Convenience Store” commercial shows the Barkley family stopping at a gas station, but instead of picking up some snacks they all head to the bathroom for a drink from a dog’s favorite “water bowl.”
The “In the Dog House” ad has Stevie giving Auggie a disapproving look when she catches him with a “wandering eye” as he watches a perfectly groomed Poodle stroll in front of the car.
The “Teenagers” spot features Sadie saying goodnight to her date in typical teenage style while dad Auggie watches from the front window of a house.
“What’s the Fuss About” begins with all four doggy noses sniffing the air just before they begin a chorus of barking at a passing mail truck.
The “Turn Signal” plays out in slow speed when the family gets stuck behind a slow moving senior doggy driver with his left turn signal blinking and only going two miles an hour.
If you haven’t had a chance to see all five of the Barkley Subaru commercials, you can watch the adorable doggy adventures on Subaru’s You Tube Channel.
Read more articles by Linda Cole