Subaru taps 10-year-old deaf actor Keivonn Woodard for new outdoors accessibility push
A new ad speaks to the brand’s commitment to breaking down barriers to access for communities that have been historically excluded from public lands and outdoor recreation.
Keivonn Woodard, the Emmy-nominated, 10 year-old deaf actor known for his recent role in HBO’s The Last of Us, fronts a new Subaru campaign spotlighting the importance of accessibility for all in the outdoors.
Developed with the help of creative agency Carmichael Lynch, the ad opens on Woodard enjoying a car ride into Yosemite National Park in the new 2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness, and conversing with his father in American Sign Language (ASL).
Aptly dubbed ‘A Beautiful Silence,’ the spot follows Woodard and his father as they trek into the park and to the base of Yosemite Falls, a waterfall which comprises three different cascades and towers more than 2,400 feet above the ground. “Can you feel that?,” Woodard signs to his father as they stand in the waterfall’s spray. “Yeah, I can feel that,” his father replies.
The spot evidences Subaru’s broader commitment to nature stewardship and to helping expand outdoor access for all people. The ad is a product of Subaru’s long-standing partnership with the National Park Foundation. The carmaker is the foundation’s largest corporate donor and has provided more than $70m to organizations working to conserve national parks.
“The outdoors are for everyone, and whether it's a trip to a national park or a walk in the woods, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience its beauty,” said Alan Bethke, senior vice-president of marketing at Subaru of America. “Through our partnership with the National Park Foundation and our commitment to making safe and capable vehicles like the Forester Wilderness, we're hoping that even more people will be inspired to explore the wonders of nature, just like the father and son in our new creative.”
Recently, Subaru has been working with the National Park Foundation’s Outdoor Exploration and ParkVentures initiatives – both of which seek to engage populations that have historically had fewer opportunities to access parks, public lands and outdoor recreation. Last year, the automaker teamed with ParkVentures on an effort to help over 55 organizations connect more people, including folks of differing abilities, to experience US national parks.
Subaru also has a relationship with ParkVentures grant recipient Black People Who Hike, an organization that, per its website, aims to “empower, educate and reengage Black people to the outdoors through wellness campaigns, health advocacy and community-based activities including hiking, camping, kayaking, rock climbing and yoga.” Previously, Subaru helped to fund a Black People Who Hike retreat in Acadia National Park in Maine, providing vehicles, gear and experiences for attendees.
Starting Monday, ‘A Beautiful Silence’ will roll out across channels including broadcast television, social media and digital in 30- and 15-second versions. A 60-second version will be available on YouTube. The campaign will run throughout August.
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