"For all the right reasons." "Cars that can." "What to Drive." "The perfect Car for an Imperfect World." Only one of these slogans would be chosen by Subaru of America to sell its cars in the recession year of 1991.
As six advertising agencies scrambled for the account and the winner tried to churn out the Big Idea that would install Subaru in the collective national unconscious, Randall Rothenberg was there, observing every nuance of the chaos, comedy, creativity, and egotism that made up an ad campaign.
One can read Rothenberg's book as the behind-the-scenes chronicle of the brief and very troubled marriage between a beleaguered automobile company and Wieden & Kennedy, an aggressively hip ad agency whose creative director despised cars. One can read it as a history of advertising's journey from the conventionally upbeat slogan "Helps Build Strong Bodies 12 Ways" to the supercool nineties minimalism of "Bo Knows." Either way, Where the Suckers Moon is a face-paced, insightful, and occasionally appalling look at an industry whose obsession with image has affected our entireculture.