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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.

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More Musical Chairs in the Executive Suite

Familiar faces, unfamiliar places.

by on Apr.07, 2011

Former GM exec Steve Shannon takes over marketing at Hyundai.

The only thing constant is change, goes the old saying, and that has become especially true in the automotive world, where jobs and titles have been changing fast, in recent months, particularly on the marketing side.

The latest round of musical chairs sees a long-time General Motors veteran, Steve Shannon, land in Korean territory, while Marty Collins, a one-time Ford executive has to hope he can remember where the executive washroom is as he heads back to Dearborn after four years with retail giant Group 1 Automotive.

Steve Shannon was a seemingly fast-rising star until his sudden departure from GM, in March 2010.  He was serving as the general manager of the Cadillac division but fell victim to one in the seemingly endless series of cuts launched by former CEO Ed Whitacre (and since continued by new Chief Executive Dan Akerson).

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The 52-year-old Shannon follows in the footsteps, ironically, of two marketing chiefs snagged by GM.  Joel Ewanick, the first to migrate to Detroit, is now the American giant’s global marketing director.  His long-time lieutenant, and then successor, at Hyundai, Chris Perry, followed Ewanick to GM last August.  Perry is now North American marketing chief.

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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.

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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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News Now!

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.”

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