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Hyundai Replaces GM as Top NFL Sponsor

Korean maker paying $50 million annually for new deal.

by on Jun.29, 2015

Hyundai's profile is going to get quite a bit higher with its new four-year sponsorship deal with the NFL.

For hours on end every Sunday this fall, American football fans are going to see something new on their television screens: the Hyundai logo. The South Korean automaker is taking over for General Motors as the league’s top sponsor in a new four-year agreement.

No figures were released on the deal, but ESPN reported that Hyundai will pay $50 million annually: double GM’s $25 million payout. Unlike the GM deal, the NFL can still sell the truck category and the rights to give away that vehicle to the Super Bowl MVP. GM’s three-year deal was exclusive, but was tied specifically to GMC.

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“We value our relationship with the NFL and its fans, but have decided to focus our sponsorship resources in other areas in the future,” GM said in a statement. (more…)

Marty’s Marketing Minutia – Oscars Edition

Hyundai says, "Hooray for Hollywood."

by on Feb.24, 2012

Hyundai calls it the “Big Voices in Big Places” philosophy; I’m calling it Media Chutzpah, Incorporated.  Not long ago, the Korean carmaker was largely ignored by most Americans, with barely a one percent share of the U.S. market.  But now, with its sales soaring – demand limited only by production capacity – Hyundai wants to make sure it’s noticed, and that means it is going for the gold.

Quite literally, with a huge advertising presence during last month’s Super Bowl, where it was seen by 111 million viewers; during the Grammy’s, which generated strong viewership in the wake of Whitney Houston’s untimely passing; and now completing the trifecta as the exclusive carvertiser during that perennial favorite, the Oscars.

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There’s an advertising audacity in capturing multi-multi-millions of eyeballs with such wide audience demographics in appointment television viewing. But unlike the Super Bowl the commercials take second place to the red carpet arrivals, the glitterati, super stars, presenters and Billy Crystal, the popular emcee making his return after a long absence.


Marty’s Marketing Minutia

Why Hyundai is saying, "Hooray for Hollywood!"

by on Feb.25, 2011

Not quite the Super Bowl, but the Oscars are a great venue for advertisers, this year starring Hyundai.

The most popular man in Hollywood Sunday night is not the usual source of material for TMZ, Entertainment Tonight or similar shows.  It’s a male named Oscar.  Actually, that’s his nickname. What few people know is that his real name is The Academy Award of Merit.

The aging octogenarian of 83 is small even by traditionally diminutive nature of Hollywood leading men, at a diminutive 13.5 inches tall and weighing only 8½ pounds. Oscar costs just $500 – the Armani tuxedos some men will wear for the awards ceremony are ten times more expensive — but when won by either a man or a women it’s worth several million dollars in terms of earnings impact. It verges on the erotic when a winner is seen holding and fondling the little man after insipid acceptance speeches.

The Academy Awards ceremony is Hollywood’s biggest night of the year.  But the film industry isn’t alone in its interest.  While it doesn’t deliver quite the impact of the Super Bowl, it’s still an evening advertisers – notably including those in the auto industry – take quite seriously.


Marty’s Marketing Minutia

Hyundai Under the Microscope

by on Oct.22, 2010

Hyundai's new Turbo Face ad shows the maker hasn't lost the magic - despite losing two key marketing execs.

The Brit’s historical axiom to announce the demise of the ruling monarch is, “The King is dead. Long live the King.”  After General Motors double-dip executive raid of the marketing department of Hyundai America the operative phrase could be, “The CMO is gone. Long live the CMO. But he’s gone too!”

It was a true WTF moment. Buzz in the biz was based on several questions: What was last year’s marketing company of the year going to do? What could they do? Could they continue trend setting creative and blockbusting media buys?  But this was just the tip of the iceberg.

In addition to the unexpected departure of the two key execs this last year, Hyundai — in a startling move, without a review — replaced, Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein and Partners with a new agency, Innocean Worldwide Americas. This caused some controversy because Innocean was not just a new agency, it is a house agency owned by the brand’s parent, Hyundai Motor Group of Seoul, Korea. And house agencies are a creative anathema to many in the industry.

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Is the king really dead?

Based on a preview of new Sonata turbo campaign last week, Hyundai has not skipped a beat and continues its bold and distinctive advertising.  When I asked John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai about the new campaign, the first since the departures, he responded, “Our agency, Innocean Worldwide Americas, is and has been the source of our innovative marketing programs and marketing communications since they became agency of record last year. Their passion for the brand is extraordinary.”


Marty’s Marketing Minutia

Ewanick: effective, efficient, enviable, and now ex-Hyundai.

by on Mar.19, 2010

Last year Hyundai let buyers refuel at $1.49 a gallon under an incentive program.

First it was a phone call, “Did you hear?” Then a text, “this can’t be true … can it?” Finally a call, text and email all essentially with the same message, “Look at their media site, it’s up and official, “Joel Ewanick is moving from Hyundai to Nissan as vice president marketing!”

My calls to him were not returned. Voicemail and email messages requests for off-the-record backgrounding to Nissan’s agency EVP account director or to Nissan PR staff were not returned.

The contemporary history of marketing in automobile business is littered with the remains of once celebrated marketers – both men and women with titles of vice president, director of marketing and the now catchy, chief marketing officer – whose careers died from poor vehicles, poor performance under pressure, arrogance and hubris.

However, Ewanick was the poster child of marketing success in a devastated industry. He was the celebrated darling of marketing media, some mainstream media and automotive analysts.

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With some amazing products, audacious assurance, and his introduction of “big presence in big venues” ad strategy, Hyundai rose like Phoenix from the ashes of price marketing to a position of prominence. Ewanick was rewarded with many prestigious awards and accolades – in my opinion, all well deserved.    (more…)