Hyundai tackles the Super Bowl

The big game marks the kick off of a multi-faceted media campaign for the brand, which will include its largest-ever online media strategy.

Super Bowl XLIV may be make-it-or-break-it time for Colts and the Saints, but Hyundai Canada is betting that no matter who wins, it will be a Super Sunday for the brand.

The Super Bowl will the launch pad for a multimedia campaign for Hyundai, with creative by Bensimon Byrne (and its digi-division, Mighty) and media by Zenith Optimedia. Two spots for the Tucson and Sonata models will be featured during the Game, airing more frequently in the Hyundai-sponsored first quarter.

‘Our media strategy this year has been ‘big voice in big places,” John Vernile, VP sales and marketing, Hyundai Auto Canada, tells MiC. ‘And the audience for the Super Bowl should be around 11 million in Canada, which would make that the number-one sporting event.’

Viewers will see two 30-second spots before the game is 15 minutes old. In the first spot, viewers will hear classical piano and watch white and black Sonatas driving along city streets, until they park next to one another, forming a colour-coded row of piano keys as the camera pulls away.

The Tucson ad features a car after a rainstorm, on which water droplets join together to form a hand. Both commercials are a continuation of the ‘Smart Is In’ campaign launched in 2009, explains Bensimon Byrne CD David Rosenberg.

”Smart Is In’ conveys that Hyundai has been a great rational choice on the elements of quality and value,’ he says.

Other elements kicking in after Sunday include national TV, print, OOH and radio buys that will be handled by Zenith Optimedia. There will also be a significant online presence driven by Mighty, Bensimon Byrne’s digital division.

In the case of Tucson, the campaign will be ‘the largest online media plan for any single nameplate,’ says Vernile. ‘In fact, our target customer for Tucson spends more time online than they do watching TV.’

In-cinema, the on-screen ads will be complemented by a Tucson display set up in 14 Cineplex locations. At the display, consumers can sit in the vehicle and get a picture taken, then retrieve their photo online and post it on Facebook.

‘Based on numbers Cineplex supplied us, about 72% of our targeted customers for Tucson will go see a show about mid-Feb to mid-March – that equates to about eight million people,’ Vernile says.

The Sonata campaign, introduced to consumers next week at the Toronto Auto Show, will be more meat-and-potato.

‘Our Sonata target customers are a little more traditional in their media consumption,’ Vernile explains further. ‘After the TV campaign debuts on Super Bowl Sunday, we’ll follow up with some newspaper, lots of online and also some magazine advertising.’

Hyundai sales are at an all-time high – Vernile reports an increase of 32% in January 2010 compared with a year earlier.