Hyundai’s soccer media freestyle

A Facebook widget that creates personalized FIFA jerseys catapulted Hyundai's soc media popularity this weekend. Meanwhile, a Mindshare study shows which countries Canadians are rooting for.

Hyundai Canada wants to be present in the places where soccer fans gather to watch the game – whether it’s in bars, watching TV in their living rooms, partying in the streets or updating their Facebook status. The brand’s media strategy for a World Cup campaign launched last week reflects this.

‘People flock to friends’ houses, they flock to bars. They’ll go wherever they can associate with other fans. We want to be where they are – that drove a lot of our media decisions,’ says John Vernile, VP of marketing at Markham, Ontario-based Hyundai Auto Canada.

Much of the media relating to the World Cup promotion, handled by ZenithOptimedia, is concentrated in the digital realm with a microsite that includes an excuse-generator for those who want to get out of work to watch the morning games; a banner ad sponsorship of The Score’s game-tracking mobile app; and the launch of a Hyundai Facebook fanpage that attracted 40,000 fans this weekend, in large part thanks to a jersey-making widget that allows fanatics to create a jersey of their odds-on favourite and post it on their profiles.

With creative developed by Hyundai’s AOR Innocean, the campaign also includes a daily newspaper print buy like the Toronto Sun and the Toronto Star, as well as OOH placements in resto bars in major cities. Real-time excitement will also be offered on the streets with a Mobile Fan Zone, travelling around Toronto until June 25 with freestyle soccer, a giant foosball table and party-related giveaways.


And while the brand is an official sponsor of the FIFA world cup, Vernile says Hyundai is not on CBC’s broadcast of the games but has instead decided to focus on the ethnic market with ads running on TLN and Fairchild TV, which targets the Asian community.

However, those aren’t the only ethnic communities that have their hearts invested in their national teams. A survey released yesterday by Mindshare shows that Italy, Germany and England rank the highest in Canadians’ predictions about who will make it to the finals – all of them have large communities in Canada. In addition, 10% of Canadians predict Portugal to be in the finals, compared to 4% globally.

According to Mindshare’s figures, more than a third of all Canadians will be watching the World Cup – a relatively low figure compared to 92% of Argentineans and 72% of Italians, for example.

Overall, Canada chose Brazil as the team that they are rooting for (and so did MiC, with our own Hyundai jersey), followed by England (35%). Only 14% of Canadians surveyed support the US.