It’s not often you see a commercial that actually signifies a deeper meaning – as well as a playful little jab to the very company that produced it. However, that’s exactly what you get out of the new Subaru ad, produced by Carmichael Lynch.

In the ad, a pair of parents is driving on the road to Woodstock, with their daughter and hippie-based grandmother in the back seat. The trip is an interesting one, complete with stories about skinny dipping that are stopped short, as well as appreciation for air. However, it’s the end that’s interesting, as both the kid and the grandmother end up hugging a tree, while the parents look on in terms of both appreciation and slight confusion. They eventually join in, only for the grandmother to realize that it may not be the right tree.

The point of the commercial is that 97 percent of Subaru models produced in the previous ten years remain on the road, although the commercial itself effectively shows appreciation – and pokes fun – at the manufacturer’s usual stereotypes.

The ad has drawn quite a bit of attention since its debut on YouTube, as well as its fair share of humorous comments, mainly due to the inclusion of a hippie theme. “I like the idea of cool old people rather than just the Fox News watching scared old people who are afraid of their own shadow,” writes one viewer.

Another stated, “Whole family actually hugging a tree…for the love of God make it stop. Liberal Marxist whack jobs have thrown this country into a tail spin!”

The Carmichael Lynch agency almost didn’t go through with the ad, but eventually changed its mind. “Generational ads are really hard to do, and even tougher to do well,” Carmichael Lynch chief creative officer Dave Damman said to Adweek. “Add to that the huge challenge of cashing in some of the ‘tree hugger’ brand equity and spending it on the Summer of Love, 1969 mind-set, and it almost becomes something that if not done exactly right, you’d surely want to avoid. But it’s a genuine, compelling story, and because of this brand and what it stands for, it makes complete sense that the car they own is a Subaru.

“Much like the importance of the 1969 music festival, it’s a territory we felt can only be visited once, so it had to be the right story, and the right emotional fit. It’s rare that in one spot you can have nostalgia, heartfelt generational connections, and everyday ‘That’s my life’ humor. Identifying with the adventurous free spirit not only inspired the concept, but helped a great deal in bringing it to life. Lance Acord, the director, had an immediate connection—he proudly claimed that the grandma character was just like his own mother, and himself as the dad,” Damman added.

Meanwhile, creative director Randy Hughes explained, “Hugging the tree was something we felt we could laugh at and love at the same time.”

Watch the ad below and see for yourself.

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