MWW was recommended to the automaker and the selection was not handled through a formal RFP process, said Michael McHale, director of corporate communications at Subaru of America, via email to PRWeek.
MWW officially took over AOR responsibilities for Subaru of America on September 1. Former AOR Brushfire, which was hired in 2007, is now handling "some local community PR," according to McHale.
"Brushfire did nice work for us, but with our increased outreach we wanted to engage a higher-profile agency," he wrote. "We have grown sales by 50% in the last three years and we want more people to know about and understand our brand. We have a great emotional story to tell about the love our brand inspires."
MWW's consumer lifestyle marketing practice will lead the account, focusing on building the brand's presence among lifestyle media and ramping up consumer awareness, said David Herrick, EVP and GM of MWW New York. In addition, the agency has brought on its Dialogue Digital team to hone the automotive brand's digital and social media marketing presence, targeting both owners and enthusiasts.
"Subaru is an amazing brand that has an extremely passionate community around it," Herrick added. "Subaru owners love their vehicles pure and simple. Our mission is to take that intense owner loyalty and translate it to consumers who don't yet know as much about Subaru as we would like them too. We want to bottle up the passion and share it with the broader world."
The agency will initially work on the launch of Subaru's 2012 Impreza, which is aimed at entry-level price-point consumers in their 20s and 30s, Herrick continued. Work will include PR efforts beyond the automotive trade space, and into lifestyle and social media.
MWW previously worked for clients in the auto space such as Saab, Volkswagen of America, and BMW Motorrad.
Last month, Subaru of America named Dean Evans as CMO.