Hyundai Touts Genesis, Elantra In Super Bowl

by , Dec 12, 2013, 8:46 AM
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Hyundai Motor America is spotlighting two critical cars in two 30-second spots on Fox Sports' coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2. The first touts the automaker's best-selling car in the U.S., the Elantra, and the second a critical addition to its luxury sports sedan, the Genesis. This will be Hyundai's seventh consecutive time advertising in the big game. 

Steve Shannon, VP marketing at the Fountain Valley, Calif.-based company, tells Marketing Daily that Hyundai's presence in the game drives huge traffic to its site. "It just gets better and better for us because it's not just the broadcast component, it's a social extravaganza; there's enormous value you can take advantage of. In terms of online shopping traffic, it's our number-one day of the year at Hyundai.com and [for Hyundai] at third-party sites like Edmunds.com, KBB.com or Cars.com."

He adds that being in the game starts the year strong. "It starts it with a bang, and the car business is all momentum. Really, there's nothing worse than not having that strong beginning to the year. It keeps us sharp." The Genesis spot, which is in the first quarter of the game, focuses on a suite of 360-degree, sensory-based active-safety features like emergency braking (the system stops you automatically below 51 mph; above that speed if will slow the vehicle), and lane-departure warning. 

The 2014 Genesis is getting another critical feature that unlocks the snow-belt markets: all-wheel drive. Although the focus isn't on AWD, Shannon says the Super Bowl ad will build awareness since the game is, obviously, played in the dead of winter. The company has AWD on SUVs as an option, but never has Hyundai offered the feature on cars. "And particularly this time of year in places like New York, which is the largest luxury market, Boston, Chicago, and Minneapolis, this car gives us a volume opportunity."  

The new Genesis will actually be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January and goes on sale in April, notes Shannon, who says the TV ad will run in cadence through the quarter to support the rollout plan. 

The ad tells a timeline story intended as a metaphor for the car with the idea that a father has eyes in the back of his head when it comes to watching out for his child's safety. The little vignettes show the same father and son through the years: the boy is about to hit the mailbox on his bike, and dad stops him in the nick of time; he's in junior high and sees an attractive cheerleader and before he can get into some trouble his dad distracts him. In the final scene in the spot, his son is driving his dad's Genesis with dad in the shotgun seat. The boy gets distracted and doesn't see a truck crossing right in front of him. Dad can't do anything about it, but the car does, with its automatic braking technology, which is designed to full-stop the car going up to 31 miles per hour. 

The Elantra spot, in the fourth quarter, touts the car's 2014 refresh, and features a well-known actor behind the wheel and a famous older comedian in the back. Shannon would not name names, but did say the last name of the comedian rhymes with a major feature in the car.  The driver pulls up to a light, rolling up beside an attractive woman also driving an Elantra. He says something along the lines of, "Hey, nice car!" She blows him off. At the next traffic light, he says something else, she ignores him again. "They go back and forth, cat-and-mouse like this," says Shannon. "There are a lot of pyrotechnics; it's very funny.”

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