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Posted on Sun, Feb 5, 2012 : 7:16 p.m.

Subaru uses dogs to employ a different strategy for Super Bowl commercials and gets big laughs

By Lorrie Shaw

Let's face it: the Super Bowl is huge, and for a lot of reasons.

For some, it fuels their love of professional football; for others, it's just a great reason to get their loved ones and friends together.

In recent years, though, commercials have been a big part of why people make a point to watch. Last year, Chrysler's stirring spot featuring Eminem was on the lips of everyone and made quite an impact throughout 2011.

One thing that has proven to be big this year in appealing to consumers, is including pets in Super Bowl advertising.

There are companies, including Doritos (here are some outtakes) and Volkswagen, who are using dogs in their commercials during Super Bowl this year, but in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLVI, there's been a bit of a shift by one company when it comes to the buzz surrounding the commercials that will air during the event.

We've seen a barrage of commercials from Subaru that depict some very familiar situations, but have stars of the four-legged variety. They've demonstrated to be exceptionally funny (especially to anyone who has had to trailer a boat or has gone camping), and the company is hoping to cash in on that.

The difference with these commercials is simple: you won't see them in between plays during the game. They were strategically positioned to appear in the days before the game, and for good reason.

"Dogs have active lives, just like Subaru drivers," says Alan Bethke, director of marketing for company, who says that 70 percent of Subaru owners have pets.

To capitalize on that — and to foster the mindset that dogs really benefit from regular activity with their humans — the company has created a tour de force to engage people.

Game Day Dog Walk Event — where owners pledge on Facebook to walk their dogs — has been employed, as well as an iPhone app, MapMyDOGWALK, which helps pet owners track and store their daily walking routes in an online database. A Facebook app, Dogbook is also being used.

Here's just one fun commercial. Watch the others by clicking here.

Lorrie Shaw is leads the pets section for You can follow her daily pet adventures on Twitter and subscribe to's email newsletters.