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The Dude
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Kathy Jackson
Automotive News
February 2, 2009 - 12:01 am ET


Hyundai aims to pull out of its sales slump with a first-quarter marketing assault that makes use of several glitzy TV extravaganzas.

Those five Hyundai Super Bowl spots on Sunday — up from two in last year's big game — were only the beginning. The blitz continues with Hyundai's first appearance on the popular TV drama "24." And later this month the brand will be the premier automotive sponsor of the Academy Awards show, replacing General Motors.

"We want to be on the big screen; we want people to see us in bigger places," says Joel Ewanick, Hyundai Motor America's vice president of marketing. "For too long we were in secondary spots, but we will be extremely aggressive in this economy."

Hyundai has stories to tell. In January, the Genesis sedan was named North American Car of the Year by a group of journalists. The Genesis coupe arrives this spring. And Hyundai's Assurance incentive program allows buyers and lease customers to return a new vehicle if they lose their job within a year of purchase.

Ewanick says his ad budget has not grown. Hyundai has cut spending in other areas to pay the big TV tab.

"Our budget is flat," he says, without giving numbers. "We cut back on print and multicultural, but eventually we need to get back into those. But right now we are focusing on TV and the Internet."

Hyundai's glitz blitz
How Hyundai is raising its profile
• 5 Super Bowl TV spots
• Sponsor of pre-game show
• Spots on the hit TV series "24"
• Major Academy Awards sponsor



Super Sunday

Hyundai is trying to boost sales after a miserable fourth quarter, when it underperformed a terrible market. The brand's sales for the quarter were down 41.0 percent, compared with 34.7 percent for the entire industry.

In the Super Bowl, Hyundai sponsored a 30-second commercial in the second quarter that celebrated its car of the year award. A spot in the third quarter touted the Hyundai Assurance incentive. NBC, which broadcast this year's game, charged $2.8 million to $3 million for 30 seconds of commercial time. In addition, Hyundai sponsored the 30-minute pre-game show.

The Genesis and Santa Fe will appear in four episodes of Fox Broadcasting's "24" series this season. And the Academy Awards show on Feb. 22 had been on Ewanick's to-do list.

"We had a hit list," Ewanick says. "The Academy Awards was at the top of my list. When it came up last August, I moved quickly. When you couple that with the Super Bowl, you have two different, big audiences. We're very happy."

Dealers like it

Rick Case, a multifranchise owner in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., says the Hyundai Assurance program has people talking. He says local TV stations came to his dealership to report on the incentive, which was announced last month. That amounts to free advertising, Case says.

Scott Fink, the dealer council chairman, says he is excited about the marketing plan.

"If you're gonna go, go big, especially in a down year," he says. "This is an opportunity to help the brand."
 

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Hyundai is such an underdog, people are going to talk trash about anything that's done, no matter how many awards we win. Nobody will say anything positive about the commercials. The general public has no idea what the pride feels like when we see those commercials on TV. They're just like "OMG not ANOTHER stupid Hyundai commercial".

Personally, I loved all three of the ones that weren't for the assurance program (boring), but Angry Bosses and Columns were my top two.
 

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They might need to make some better commercials if what alot of the press are saying a few of thier Super Bowls ads are being rated close to bottom of the pack of commercials.
They were at the bottom of the pack but that doesnt mean they were bad commercials. The only reason Hyundai commercials rated near the bottom since they weren't the funniest, or most shocking. I felt the Hyundai commercials were good commercials overall that showcased Hyundai as a company, builds good cars and that it cares for the buyer, etc.



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