News & Reviews News Wire Operation Lifesaver opposes new Subaru commercial w/video NEWSWIRE

Operation Lifesaver opposes new Subaru commercial w/video NEWSWIRE

By | August 18, 2016

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WASHINGTON — Operation Lifesaver, Inc. is reaching out to top leadership at Subaru and its advertising agency on a new commercial that shows a woman and a man illegally riding in a boxcar. The national non-profit rail safety education group recently sent a letter to Subaru’s vice president of marketing asking the car manufacturer to withdraw the commercial from the internet and airwaves.

The new “Land of Dreams” advertisement shows a woman and man paralleling a moving train and daydreaming of riding in one of the train’s boxcars. The commercial, set in a rural area, promotes the company’s new Subaru Outback vehicle. Operation Lifesaver says the commercial could spark others to find interest in riding trains illegally for the same sense of adventure as implied in the advertisement.

Operation Lifesaver is asking Subaru to take down the commercial and has also reached out to the manufacturer about collaborating to promote railroad safety and education through Subaru’s ‘Love Promise’ marketing initiative.

25 thoughts on “Operation Lifesaver opposes new Subaru commercial w/video NEWSWIRE

  1. Omg guys… I don’t know why everyone is getting so bent about this. I saw this commercial for the first time about a month ago, and ever since I’ve been hopping trains back and forth from Richmond to Baltimore and everywhere in between! I can go to all my favorite cities and towns basically FOR FREE! Why haven’t I been doing this for years?!?! If you haven’t tried it yet, you definitely should. The commercial portrays it very close to how it really feels. I’m so glad I saw it. My life has been so much better ever since!

  2. update- they updated the commercial on 8/26 to include the words “Do not attempt to ride a freight train”

  3. Great commercial. Risky behavior to ride a train like this, yes. Must we dumb everything down because there are some nimrods out there. If you want to reduce risky behavior stop people from driving. There is over 30,000 deaths on the road every year. Take a taxi, train or walk.
    BTW, does anybody know what railroad they filmed this on?

  4. Good grief people, lighten up and get a life!! The world has truly gone mad. Folks won’t buy the Subaru because of the commercial?? No fan of Subaru commercials…too “tree huggy” so here is the best of the bunch and I can’t believe the controversy.

  5. Oh my God! Lighten up. She was day dreaming. Are you going to censor the hundreds of movies that show people riding freight trains? Clint Eastwood’s, The Gauntlet, comes to mind. I like the commercial and enjoying seeing it.

  6. I love my Subaru, and MOST of their commercials, but this one rubbed me raw the first time I saw it. I imagine the concept originated at their ad agency—wanderlust, the romance of the rails, fantasies of road trips—all part of the feel-good atmosphere that they want people to associate with Subaru. They probably never even considered the dangers they were promoting. And that’s just the issue that Operation Lifesaver is trying to deal with—the ignorance of the general public regarding safety around railroads. One commercial like this, however innocently conceived and presented, will be seen and remembered more than the PSA’s and events sponsored by Operation Lifesaver and the railroads. They need to take down this commercial. It would be great if it could be redone without showing the people actually riding in the boxcar…perhaps depict it as more of a fantasy sequence? And don’t get me started about the Fillmore and Western…right now I have NOTHING nice to say about them!

  7. Maybe the boxcar scene with the characters was done on a soundstage in a studio somewhere while the train scene was filmed separately. The scenes could have then be combined and characters superimposed onto the train using CGI.

    Also, Subaru could’ve always put a “Do Not Attempt” in fine print while the characters are sitting in a boxcar….

  8. My wife and I were thinking about getting a Forester in the near future but it looks like we will now have to look at getting another type of SUV if Subaru wants to endorse this sort of risky behavior.

  9. Many auto commercials now show overly aggressive driving and wild things that appear to be done right in the center of cities. Putting a tiny disclaimer in an ad like that doesn’t undo all the damage done, and neither does saying that the stunts were done on a closed course by a professional driver, I see seemingly ordinary folks take some serious risks in everyday traffic; I wonder where they got the idea that such things were OK; and finally I think of the mayhem that an real crash can do if one of those moves fails to work.

    So, my concern is more about the message that Subaru and the rest of the auto industry sends to drivers, especially young ones, about how to use a car or truck. They should never promote anything that involves misuse of railroads, railroad property, or railroad equipment.

  10. Operation Lifesaver is trying to educate all “idiots” Lance, not just the ones in cars. The fact is trespassers, not cars, have a higher fatality rate at this time. OLI and the railroads are working to prevent trespassers from seeing their private property as a photo studio for weddings, a place to jog or a playground for living out their dreams.

  11. To David Arthur: I watched the “stunt” you referred us too — easily the most ridiculous thing I have seen all day if not a good deal longer (and I have paid some attention to the election too this week). The Subaru commercial seems pretty tame — anyone remember “Bound for Glory”? I agree with Rick Filkins: “People need to lighten up.”

  12. This commercial romanticizes trespassing, pure and simple, a risk to life and limb and – looking at it from a rail business perspective – a huge liability. The short line (I assume) that collaborated in the filming should have known better, but they probably welcomed the extra income.

  13. Back in 1969 or so, 3 “hobo’s” were killed riding in a boxcar on a south bound L&N just outside the town of Crofton Ky. when the train jumped the rail and fell off the Gumlick Holler bridge. You never know what can happen when you jump a train. Two old friends of mine are planning on jumping a train this fall and riding to Florida just for the heck of it. They did this once beore when they were teens, but they are now both in their sixties. I tried to talk some sense into them but they are bound and determined to try it again. I hope they get caught before something tragic happens!!

  14. Jim, I have often wondered why I have never heard of any taggers being hurt or killed while committing their acts of vandalism on railroad cars. Maybe it happens and we don’t hear about it for whatever reason. I think if they knew what sort of danger they were in, it might slow it down.

  15. That is a great commercial portraying railroading in the light that made it great in our culture. Now, Operation Lifesaver, how about a campaign to stop those trespassing criminals who deface property? #TaggerLives Matter?

  16. Roger V.: Because there will be somebody out there that see’s this and think it’s a great thing to do, with no clue to the dangers involved. It “looks” like a beautiful commercial, that’s the problem, some of us know better, a huge percentage of the general population probably doesn’t know the dangers.

  17. No foul here. It is clearly fantasy and we should never discourage that. Otherwise why be railfans at all.

  18. Good grief. The thought police are at it again.

    Fillmore & Western once again!

    No (digital) buffaloes were harmed in this commerical.

  19. Please, please, let us dream. Stop thinking as robots. You can have all the laws you want, but you’ll never control my dreams. Please let me dream.

  20. Operation Lifesaver needs to worry about the real problem….which is the idiots driving cars…not some symbolic daydream about wanderlust that apparently many people didn’t get.

  21. “Who of us railfans haven’t daydreamed or actually dreamed of riding a freight train.”
    Who of us railfans haven’t daydreamed or actually dreamed of getting injured or killed while riding a freight train?.

  22. Yeah, we all know it’s dangerous to hop a freight train, but it’s just a commercial. Who of us railfans haven’t daydreamed or actually dreamed of riding a freight train.

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